L.A. Area National Parks Benefit Local Economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2016 shows that 906,605 park visitors spent an estimated $39.4 million in the local community while visiting Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). That spending supported 557 jobs and contributed $54.3 million to our local economy.

In the past year, visitors to Channel Islands National Park spent an estimated $22.4 million in local gateway regions, supporting 315 jobs and providing $31.9 million in economic benefit.

“The trails and scenic vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains offer an escape for nearly a million visitors each year,” said Superintendent David Szymanski of SMMNRA. “We are happy to know that the park also provides a strong economic benefit to the local community.”

“The NPS has a presence in every community in the United States, including ours,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “National park tourism is a significant driver in our economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the NPS.  

The report shows that, nationwide, 331 million park visitors spent $18.4 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

To learn more about national parks in California and how the NPS works with California communities, go to: www.nps.gov/california. The report is available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.


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