National Park Service report shows Michigan tourism boom

A new National Park Service report shows more than two million Michigan visitors spent a combined $181.7 million in State Parks in 2012, supporting close to 3,000 jobs.

NPS Midwest Regional Director Michael Reynolds says the data is a clear indication that tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for $1 invested. Reynolds went on to say that the funding generated by National Parks has a swift and direct positive impact on local economies in Michigan.

Michigan’s list of National Parks includes Isle Royale in Houghton, Keweenaw National Historical Park in Calumet, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, which saw close to 600,000 visitors spend $23.7 million in communities near the park in 2012. That spending supported 312 local jobs.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283,000 park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

The study suggests that this spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 found in gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.