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Nat'l Parks Bring in Big Bucks to CA

PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 36 million visitors to national parks in California spent more than $1.5 billion and supported 20,287 jobs in the state in 2012.Credit: National Park Service.
PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 36 million visitors to national parks in California spent more than $1.5 billion and supported 20,287 jobs in the state in 2012.
Credit: National Park Service.
March 4, 2014

YOSEMITE, Calif. - California's National Parks are pumping $1.5 billion annually into the state's economy. A new report from the National Park Service shows more than 36 million people visited California's national parks in 2012.

According to Craig Dalby, chief of public information for the Park Service, whether it's a local visitor on a day or week-long family vacation, school kids on a field trip, or out-of-town visitors, they all spend money in - and on the way to - National Parks.

"The flight to a place, for example, renting a car, getting to the place - and, of course, spending money at the location or near the park - that all generates economic activity," he pointed out.

There are more than two dozen National Parks in California, more than in any other state. This new report shows that National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning ten dollars for every one dollar invested in the National Park Service.

The report also found that National Parks supported more than 20,000 California jobs in 2012.

"The economic activity that is generated from visitors going to parks does have that effect of creating work for people. So, that is jobs," Dalby said.

According to the report, 39 percent of visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores. Lodging accounts for 27 percent, and other amusement and recreation account for 20 percent.

More information is at NPS.gov. To see the report, visit nature.nps.gov.


Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA