A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6,615,155 visitors to national parks in Maryland spent $212.7 million dollars and supported 2,689 jobs in the state in 2013.
"The national parks in Maryland attract visitors from across the country and around the world," Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, acting regional director, said. "Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a month-long family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and a big factor in our state's economy as well, a result we can all support."
Some (not all) of the national parks in Maryland allow horses, such as Antietam National Battlefield, Catoctin Mountain Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Of course, there is also the Assateague Island National Seashore with the ponies.
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 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).
Click here to view the report visit. The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Maryland and how the National Park Service works with Maryland communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, click here.