Yosemite bolsters economy

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

A new study by the National Park Service estimated that Yosemite National Park visitors contributed over $378 million in communities near the park in 2012.

The "2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects" report was released last month, concluding that trip-related spending by park visitors "generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities.

The report estimates economic contributions for the entire national park system using visitor numbers, cost surveys and economic modeling software. The bulk of the 40-page report is a table of localized numbers for each park.

Yosemite visitors' economic contribution was among the highest. Direct visitor spending within 60 miles of the park was estimated at $378 million. That spending supported an estimated 5,162 jobs, the report said.

The sector benefiting most from the spending was lodging, including hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns, according to the statistics derived for the whole national park system.

For the full story, see the March 4 edition of The Union Democrat.

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