A new National Park Service report shows that the 2.2 million visitors to Glacier National Park in 2013 spent nearly $179 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,824 jobs in the local area.
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 $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3%) followed by food and beverages (27.3%), gas and oil (12.1%), admissions and fees (10.3%) and souvenirs and other expenses (10%).
The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
The full report is available here and includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
Hiking in Glacier National Park