A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that nearly 1.4 million visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2013 spent almost $63 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 770 jobs in the local area. Interim Park superintendent Todd Suess said, “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis, which covered all NPS units in the country, was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists. Joshua Tree National Park was one of the relatively few sites for which the data was derived from an actual visitor survey. For most other locations, ” visitor characteristics and spending averages are adapted from national averages for each park type”, according to a footnote in the full report.