A new spending analysis by the National Parks Service shows that tourism dollars spent around Mount Rainier helped bolster small, local economies, supporting 599 jobs and creating a cumulative benefit of $68,400,000 to the local economy.
The peer-reviewed visitor analysis, which examined spending by more than 318 million visitors to national parks in 2018, was conducted by two economists from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service official, according to a media release by the National Park Service.
Officials found that more that spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally, with 268,000 of them being founded in gateway communities, 58,000 supported by lodging, 61,000 jobs supported in restaurants and 28,000 jobs supported in industry. The analysis also found the cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
Lodging expenses accounted for the largest share of visitor spending, according to the media release, which tallied at about $6.8 billion in 2018. Purchases made on food were the second largest expense visitors made in 2018, which totalled $4 billion in restaurants and bars, and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.