Visitor Spending Creates More Than 23 Million in Economic Benefits

Date: April 25, 2017Contact:
Kelly Fellner

Patchogue, NY – A new National Park Service (NPS)
report shows that 431,303 visitors to Fire
Island National Seashore in 2016 spent $18.6
million in Long Island gateway communities. Visitor
spending in local communities had a cumulative benefit of more
than $23.5 million to the local economy and supported 217

“People come from across Long Island and around the globe to
see Fire Island National Seashore,” said Superintendent Chris
Soller. “Visiting the iconic Fire Island Lighthouse; New York’s
only federal wilderness area; or, the home of one of New York’s
signers of the Declaration of Independence can be a wonderful
introduction to this region’s rich natural and cultural
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by
economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological
Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The
report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million
park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national
park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544
of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The
cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was
for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2
percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2
percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local
transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users
can explore current year 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:

The report includes information for visitor spending at
individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in New York State and how
the National Park Service works with New York communities
to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and
provide outdoor recreation, go to

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