• Tourism to Petersburg National Battlefield creates $16.7 Million in Economic Benefits

    Tourism to Petersburg National Battlefield creates $16.7 Million in Economic Benefits
    Report shows visitor spending supports 184 jobs in local economy
     
    PETERSBURG, VA  – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 204,322 visitors to Petersburg National Battlefield in 2018 spent $12 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 184 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $16.7 million. Nationally, national park visitor spending contributed $40 billion to the United States economy and supported 329,000 jobs.
    “This report emphasizes the tremendous impact the national parks have on our nation’s economy and underscores the need to fulfill President Trump's plan to rebuild park infrastructure,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “With 419 sites, and at least one in every state, our national parks continue to provide visitors, both local and destination, with innumerous recreational, inspirational, and world-class experiences.”
    “National parks with their iconic natural, cultural and historic landscapes represent the heart and soul of America,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “They are also a vital part of our nation’s economy, especially for park gateway communities where millions of visitors each year find a place to sleep and eat, hire outfitters and guides and make use of other local services that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.”
    The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally; 268,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
    Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area and visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.
     Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.
    Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore 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: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm
    To learn more about national parks in Virginia and how the National Park Service works with Virginia communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Virginia.