Yellowstone Pumped a Half-Billion Bucks Into Neighboring Towns in 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park in 2019 spent $507 million in nearby communities, according to a report from the National Park Service and a news release on Wednesday.
That spending supported 7,000 jobs and had a cumulative effect of $652 million, according to the report
"The positive economic impacts of Yellowstone are essential to economies of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho," Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a news release.
"It is important that we continue working with our state and local partners to balance the many benefits of tourism with our continued efforts to protect the world-class resources within the park," Sholly said.
The peer-reviewed analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.
The Yellowstone data was among the total effects nationwide of spending by more than 327 million visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.
"This spending supported 340,500 jobs nationally; 278,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities," according to the report. "The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $41.7 billion."
Visitors nationwide spent the most, about $7.1 billion, on lodging; followed by $4.2 billion in the restaurant industry; $2.16 billion on motor fuel expenses; and $1.93 billion in the retail sector.
Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs, more than 61,000 jobs in the restaurant industry, more than 28,000 jobs in recreation industries, and more than 20,000 jobs in the retail industry.
Report authors Thomas and Koontz created an interactive tool to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, year-by-year trends, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies.
The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program's webpage. The report also includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
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