It is a travesty for American travel and tourism industry, and no one cares. At least no one in power who wants to do anything about it.
The U.S. government shutdown is now well into its second week, and the national parks cross the country remain closed. With it, hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to the local communities that surround the depend on tourism for their sustenance.
The National Parks Conservation Association, the non-partisan, non-governmental advocacy organization that supports these national parks, has been tracking the losses and has come up with some numbers, which we’re outlining below:
- 401 national park units closed.
- 21,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed.
- As many as 750,000 visitors will be turned away daily.
- $450,000 in revenues lost by park service every day.
- Local gateway communities could lose as much as $30 million per day the national parks are closed.
- Due to budget cuts, the budget to operate our national parks, in today’s dollars, is already 13 percent less than it was three years ago, a loss of $315 million.
- In the busy summer tourist season, national parks operated with approximately 1,900 less staff due to the more than $180 million cut in 2013.
- U.S. national parks attract nearly 300 million visitors and support more than $30 billion in private-sector spending, generating $10 in economic activity for every federal dollar invested, claims NCPA.
- Nine out of ten Americans visited a national park, one in five international visitors visits a park service unit during their stay in U.S.
The NCPA created this live ticker to show how much estimated dollars have been lost since the shutdown of national parks last Tuesday:
Meanwhile, Theresa Pierno, the EVP of NCPA, spoke on C-Span this morning about the implications of the federal government shutdown for park visitors and private sector groups that rely on park tourism spending.