A new National Park Service (NPS) reports shows that 589,156 visitors to Mojave National Preserve spent $33,720,400 in communities near the park in 2015. That spending supported 486 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $42,746,200.
"Mojave National Preserve welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," Superintendent Todd Suess said. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers."
Superintendent Suess said the report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and that this spending is a big factor in the local economy as well. "We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors, and we are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities," he said.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.
According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent), followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).
The report's authors produced an interactive tool that allows users to explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in California and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/state/ca/.