Glacier National Park Continues to Positively Impact the Economy

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Economic Benefits of Glacier National Park

The National Park Service has released data showing how last year’s visitor spending in and around Glacier National Park impacted the local economy, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. Tourism in the park, which reached record numbers last year, was shown to do wonders for the surrounding businesses, with the park’s 2.3 million visitors spending $193 million in areas surrounding Glacier National Park in 2014. The tourism industry also was responsible for creating an additional 3,405 jobs in the area last year.

This trend was not simply unique to Glacier National Park, however. The National Park Service conducted similar studies at all of the national parks that it manages, and found similar results almost ubiquitously. Few industries provide a better return on investment to the national economy than national parks tend to, with an estimated $10 coming back to the United States economy for every $1 visitors spend in national parks. There really aren’t many more beneficial ways to spend your money than visiting national parks, something which we can all celebrate.

Across the country last year, 293 million park visitors combined to spend $15.7 billion in areas within 60 miles of national parks, supporting a whopping 277,000 jobs nationally. Even more impressively, that money spent led to a cumulative $29.7 billion benefit to the United States economy. If only all state-sponsored programs were so efficient!

In any case, the trends couldn’t be much better at Glacier National Park. The number of visitors continues to rise, which helps to support the economy of Montana, and in particular, Northwest Montana, in an incredibly substantial way. Without the tourism industry at Glacier National Park, many people would be otherwise unemployed, and the state’s finances would be in a noticeably worse place.

It’s good to know that something that is enjoyed by so many people can also bring about such positive economic and societal benefits. It’s just one more reason to visit Glacier National Park!


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