Tourism to local national parks creates $47.5 million

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 863,316 visitors to Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site in 2013 spent $47.5 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 675 jobs in the local area.

“Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Tim Stone. “We are delighted to share the story of these places and the experiences they provide and to use the parks 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 neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The Charleston-area national park sites are located in Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. They protect and preserve some of the most historic sites in American history – dating from the Colonial era through World War II. At Fort Sumter National Monument, which includes Fort Moultrie, 815,007 visitors spent $44,922,800 supporting 638 jobs. At Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, 47,309 visitors spent $2,607,600 supporting 37 jobs.

The 2013 economic benefit figures are somewhat lower than the 2012 results. The 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the decline in park visitation. The authors also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report, visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. 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/sc.

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