National park tourism in Wis. creates $28.4 million economic benefit

WISCONSIN (WITI) -- A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 273,933 visitors to national parks in Wisconsin spent $28.4 million and supported 422 jobs in the state in 2012.

“The national parks of Wisconsin attract visitors from across the country and around the world and provide premiere historical, cultural, natural, and recreational experiences,” said NPS Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds.  “This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested - and funding generated by national parks has a swift and direct positive impact on local economies in Wisconsin as well.”

The national parks in Wisconsinare:  Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield; and Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service.  The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report visit