Tourism in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area created $410 million in economic benefit in 2021

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Glen Canyon NRA) continues to be an economic engine for the region. In 2021, Glen Canyon ranked number 25 in high visitation out of 423 National Park Service units nationwide, with 3.1 million visitors.

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Busy tourism season in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Photo courtesy of NPS.

A 2022 National Park Service report shows those visitors spent an estimated $332 million in local gateway regions around Glen Canyon NRA. These expenditures supported a total of 3,840 jobs, $139 million in labor income, $234 million in value added and $410 million in economic output in local gateway economies. Glen Canyon NRA is a vital economic engine in the following counties and gateway communities: in Utah, Kane (Big Water, Kanab), San Juan (Bluff, Blanding), Wayne (Hanksville), Garfield (Escalante, Ticaboo, Boulder); and Coconino County in Arizona (Page, Marble Canyon).


The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The report shows $20.5 billion of direct spending by more than 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally; 269,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.


As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector had the second greatest effects, with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.

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Report authors also produced an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added and output effects by sector for national, state and local economies.


Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.


To learn more about national parks in Utah and Arizona and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to https://www.nps.gov/state/ut/index.htm and https://www.nps.gov/state/az/index.htm.


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