“Big Cypress National Preserve is the backyard of South Florida and wonderful place to learn about America’s story,” said preserve superintendent Pedro Ramos. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience the preserve and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know this amazing part of the country. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America’s most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state and national economy.”
The information on Big Cypress National Preserve is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.
Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).
To download the report visit: www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. In total, the report shows that visitors to the four South Florida National Park Units – Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks – spend more than $305.3 million and support 4,716 jobs in the area.
To learn more about national parks in Florida and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/FLORIDA.