According to a recent story from MSNBC, the average age of visitors to the national parks has risen steadily since 1996. Part of that increase is due to a continued interested in the parks by aging baby boomers, but the twenty-something crowd, who were once a mainstay in the parks, seem to have nearly disappeared. According to the story, young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 now make up just 11 percent of the visitors to Yosemite and a stunning six percent at Yellowstone.
Congress created the National Park System in 1916 with a promise—that the most cherished elements of America’s national heritage would be preserved unimpaired for future generations .
The National Parks Conservation Association initiated the State of the Parks program in 2000 to assess the condition of natural and cultural resources in individual national parks.To date, 80 parks have been studied. Recently, the Center for State of the Parks (CSOTP) turned its attention to issues affecting the National Park System as a whole. Because of this change in focus, CSOTP changed its name to the Center for Park Research (CPR). The Center for Park Research delivers scientific information on systemic issues affecting national parks and their solutions. The goal of the new center remains the same: Provide information that will help policymakers, the public, and the National Park Service improve conditions in national parks, celebrate successes, and ensure a lasting legacy for future generations.
According to a December 2006 analysis released by the National Parks Conservation Association, America's National Park System generates more than four dollars in value to the public for every tax dollar invested by the Federal Government.
Tourism’s economic benefits are touted by the industry for a variety of reasons. Claims of tourism’s economic significance give the industry greater respect among the business community, public officials, and the public in general. This often translates into decisions or public policies that are favorable to tourism. Community support is important for tourism, as it is an activity that affects the entire community. Tourism businesses depend extensively on each other as well as on other businesses, government and residents of the local community.
National parks are supporting more than $13 billion in private-sector economic activity, more than 270,000 jobs, and countless park gateway businesses and communities. They are welcoming more than 280 million annual visitors who are investing their money in local economies while at the same time learning about our American history and the treasures that make this country great. Quite simply, we are getting a great deal from our national parks, and yet they cost us very little – 1/13th of one percent of the entire federal budget.
Blue Ridge PKWY with 15,382,447 no of visitors which is a 5.51% of total recreational visits is the no 1 among all other recreational visit places.
The National Park System is made up of 376 areas covering more than 83 million acres in every state except Delaware. It also includes areas in the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The outdoor recreation economy grows long after consumers purchase outdoor gear and vehicles. When people use their outdoor gear and vehicles, they spend money on day and overnight trips, and on travel-related expenses such as airfares, rental cars, lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, groceries, gasoline and souvenirs. They pay for river guides and outfitters, lift tickets and ski lessons, entrance fees, licenses and much more. Their spending supports innumerable small business owners. And they visit recreation areas that are cared for by land managers, park rangers, NGOs and volunteers.
According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy 2012, "more than 140 million Americans engage in outdoor activities each year, directly delivering $646 billion to the economy and supporting 6.1 million domestic jobs. In addition, the report credits spending on outdoor recreation with generating $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue and $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue."