Oregon's Parks Rake in $58 million

A new report by the National Park Service demonstrates just how vital our national parks are to the economy.

By Greg Young March 21, 2014

Wizard Island on Crater Lake National Park

Image: G Seeger

It probably won't surprise you to learn that Oregon's beautiful natural parks and spaces attract people from all around the world. In 2012, more than 875,000 people added Oregon parks to their travel itineraries. What you might not know is that this tourism not only supports about 924 jobs, but contributes a significant benefit to our state economy. 

According to a new peer-reviewed report by the National Park Service, tourists to our national parks pumped about $58.5 million into the state's economy in 2012. (39% to restaurants and grocery stores, 27% to hotels and lodging, and the rest to entertainment and amusement.) The national economic impact of tourism to national parks was about $26.75 billion. 

“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 Oregon’s economy as well, a result we can all support,” said Regional Director Chris Lehnertz in a press release.

The report included all our national parks in its analysis: Crater Lake National Park, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and Oregon Caves National Monument, as well as parts of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and Nez Perce National Historical Park.

Need a reason to get out and visit some of these places yourself? Be sure to check out Travel Oregon's gorgeous 7 Wonders of Oregon video here.

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