A new National Park Service report shows that the 25,317 visitors who came to Gila Cliff Dwellings in 2011 contributed $716,000 in economic benefit and supported 10 jobs locally. Statewide, nearly 1.5 million national park visitors to New Mexico’s 13 National Park Service units spent $102 million and supported 1,538 jobs. Nationwide, visitors to the 398 units of the National Park System had a combined $30 billion economic benefit that supported 252,000 jobs.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by Yue Cui, Ed Mahoney, and Teresa Herbowicz of Michigan State University for the National Park Service. The report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million national park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a park and had a combined $30 billion impact on the U.S. economy as a whole.
According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent). Other spending categories include recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).
To download the national report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in New Mexico and how the National Park Service works with communities in the state to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to http://www.nps.gov/newmexico.