SAN FRANCISCO – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 5.1 million visitors to national parks in Hawai`i spent more than $314 million and supported 3,723 jobs in the state in 2012.
“The national parks of Hawai`i attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a month-long family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new 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 a big factor in Hawai`i’s economy as well, a result we can all support.”
The national parks in Hawai`i include Haleakala National Park, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, and World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Hawai`i and how the National Park Service works with Hawai`i’s communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hawaii.