A new National Park Service report shows that 109,685 visitors to Congaree National Park in 2012 spent $5.144 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 66 jobs in the local area.
"Congaree National Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Tracy Stakely. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our Midlands neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Surveyeconomists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for theNational Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million parkvisitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobsnationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefitto the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery andconvenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusementand recreation (20 percent).
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in South Carolina and how the National Park Service works with South Carolina communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/SOUTHCAROLINA.
Did You Know?
Congaree National Park has the largest Loblolly Pine in the United States. It is as tall as a 16 story building.