Acadia National Park visitors spent $221 million in 2014, according to a recent report. FILE PHOTO

Visitors to Acadia spent $221 million

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — A new National Park Service report shows that 2.56 million visitors to Acadia National Park in 2014 spent $221 million in communities near the park.

That spending supported an estimated 3,486 jobs and had a total economic benefit of $271 million in the local area.

“Like other national park areas, Acadia welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world. We are delighted to share the report describing how national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. This is reflected locally in gateway communities that provide amenities and essential services to park visitors,” said Superintendent Sheridan Steele.


Distribution of National Park Service (NPS) visitor spending by spending category. In 2014, visitors to NPS lands spent an estimated $15.7 billion in local gateway regions. CHART COURTESY OF NPS

U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis.

Nationally, the report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 293 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally with a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $29.7 billion. According to the report, most national park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent), followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial in 2016 and is using this opportunity to invite a new generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them through the Find Your Park campaign.