A new National Park Service report shows that 1,383,341 visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2013 spent $62,929,90 in communities near the park. That spending supported 770 jobs in the local area. “Joshua Tree National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said interim superintendent Todd Suess. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well,” he said. The visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion. According to the analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent). The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs). To download the report, go to a link in this story at z1077fm.com.