May 8 – 14, is National Tourism Week in the United States, a week in which America focuses on the economic and social benefits of tourism. National Parks are a significant part of this success story.
Travel and Tourism has been one of America’s leading industries for many decades, employing more workers than the insurance and auto industries combined. Last year, it generated $1.8 trillion in economic output and delivered $118 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments, the U.S. Travel Association reports. Without travel and tourism, every American household would pay an additional $1,000 in taxes annually, just to sustain the contributions of travel and tourism enterprises to government.
National Parks are a huge part of our economy, generating more than four dollars in tax revenue for every dollar invested by the federal government, according to an NPCA study. The study found that national parks generate $13.3 billion in local economic activity and support 267,000 private sector jobs. In many states, national parks attract more visitors and sustain more jobs than any other aspect of their economies. It’s not surprising then, to see state and local governments actively promoting the parks, as without travel and tourism their economies, way of life and the parks themselves would be jeopardized.