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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park says it creates $113M in local economic benefit

March 3, 2014 - 11:07am

A new National Park Service report for 2012 shows that the 1,483,928 visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spent more than $113 million in communities near the park.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis, conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists, found that the more than one million visitors to the park in 2012 spent $113,376,400 in communities near the park.

That spending supported 1,353 jobs in the local area, according to the economists.

“It’s always exciting to share how much of a positive impact our national and international visitors have on the economic viability of our island community,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a prepared statement. “On the same note, it’s also worth contemplating what the park means to our Hawai‘i Island residents. That’s difficult to define with a dollar amount,” she said.

Ross Birch, executive director for the Big Island Visitors Bureau, also acknowledged the park’s impact on the island economy.

“Hawaii Island has been on an upward trend in arrivals and spending over the past few years, and a major contributor driving this demand is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. As the No. 1 attraction for the island, and sometimes the state, it is not a surprise to see the economic impact the park has on our community,” he said in a prepared statement. “Big Island Visitors Bureau is very grateful to have such an asset and we appreciate the excellent working relationship with Cindy Orlando and her team to perpetuate these great results,” he said.

The USGS report also includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

Nationally, some $14.7 billion is spent by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park in the United States. That spending supported 243,000 jobs — including 201,000 jobs in nearby 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, click here.