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National Parks Bring in Big Bucks to AZ

PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that just under 10 million visitors to national park units in Arizona spent three-quarters of a billion dollars and supported more than 11,000 jobs in the state in 2012. CREDIT: National Park Service.
PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that just under 10 million visitors to national park units in Arizona spent three-quarters of a billion dollars and supported more than 11,000 jobs in the state in 2012. CREDIT: National Park Service.
March 6, 2014

PHOENIX - Arizona's National Parks and Monuments are pumping three-quarters of a billion dollars annually into the state's economy. A new report from the National Park Service shows just under 10 million people visited Arizona's National Park areas in 2012.

According to Craig Dalby, Park Service Chief of Public Information Programs, whether it's a local visitor on a day or a 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, then of course, spending money at the location or near the Park, that all generates economic activity," he observed.

There are 24 National Park Service units in Arizona.

This new report shows that National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning ten dollars for every dollar invested in the National Park Service.

The report also found that National Parks supported more than 11,000 Arizona 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.

The report is at Nature.NPS.gov.


Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ