A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 47,846 visitors to Carl Sandburg Home NHS in 2021 spent $3.1 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 44 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $4.1 million.
“Every year, national park visitors find a place to sleep and eat, hire outfitters and guides, enjoy history, arts, and outdoor recreation, and make use of other services that support local communities,” said Superintendent Polly Angelakis. “Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is proud to share Sandburg’s legacy and help contribute to our local and state economies.”
In 2021, North Carolina ranked second nationally in terms of local economic support: 21.0 million visitors to North Carolina’s ten national park units spent an estimated $1.7 billion in local “gateway” regions near parks. These expenditures supported a total of 24.8 thousand jobs, $871 million in labor income, $1.4 billion in value added, and $2.6 billion in economic output in the North Carolina economy.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The report shows $20.5 billion of direct spending by more than 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally; 269,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.
As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector was had the second greatest effects, with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.
Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm
To learn more about national parks in North Carolina and how the National Park Service works with North Carolina communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/NorthCarolina.