A new National Park Service report shows that over two and a half million visitors to the national parks in South Florida (Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry TortugasNational Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve) spent $206 million last year in surrounding communities.
That spending supported over 2,700 jobs in South Florida.
In Everglades National Park 1,047,116 visitors spent over $96 million and supported 1302 jobs in surrounding communities.
“Supportive neighbors and park partners, along with the beauty and the natural and cultural wonders of Everglades National Park, helped to attract so many visitors,” said acting Superintendent Shawn Benge.
The new report shows that national parks are significant drivers in the economy, returning ten dollars for every one dollar that is invested in the National Park Service.
Parks are the primary economic engines of many gateway communities.
Visitors come to the parks from all over the world to experience the amazing scenery, natural resources, history and wildlife that the parks provide.
Nearby communities provide visitors with services that support thousands of mostly local jobs.
Additional jobs are provided by building, educational and natural resource related projects that take place in parks and utilize local companies.
“South Florida’s national parks improve the quality of life for everyone in South Florida by creating jobs, protecting the environment and providing opportunities for people to get outdoors and enjoy nature,” said Don Finefrock, Executive Director of the South Florida National Parks Trust, a nonprofit partner that supports all four parks through fundraising and community outreach.