Skip directly to content

Bandelier Announces 2016 Economic Benefits: $12.5 Million Locally; $35 Billion Nationwide

on May 3, 2017 - 6:47pm

Ancestral Pueblo cavate in Frijoles Canyon, Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

Ancestral Pueblo village of Tyuonyi in Frijoles Canyon, Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

The National Park Service (NPS) had a big year in 2016. Besides being the Centennial of its establishment, parks nationwide broke records for visitation, with more people than ever going to these places that are often called America's jewels. Having started with Yellowstone, there are now 417 areas, with at least one in every state.

A recent study brought to light the economic benefits that these areas brought to the country in 2016. With the NPS receiving an appropriation of only $2.85 billion, this year's 331 million visitors spent a total of $18.4 billion, supporting 318,000 jobs nationally. This provided a cumulative benefit to the US economy of $34.9 billion.

"Millions of people from across the country and around the world enjoy NPS areas for their natural beauty, historical and cultural interest, and opportunities to get outdoors," Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott. "These areas also provide economic benefits, including thousands of jobs. Besides preserving irreplaceable lands for our children and the generations into the future, the parks give back more than $10 for every $1 put into them. Bandelier alone, with last year's visitation reaching just under 200,000, brings in over $12.5 million, and supports more than 190 jobs."

Nationwide, visitor spending broke out at about 33.6 percent for lodging and camping; food and beverages 27 percent; gas, oil, and local transportation 19 percent, admissions and fees 10 percent, and souvenirs and other expenses 9.7 percent. The authors of the study produced an online source where users can explore visitor spending and other economic effects on national, state, and local economies. It is found at the National Park Service Social Science Program webpage:

For anyone getting started now on planning upcoming vacations or weekend trips, there is good information about parks all over the country at Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque at Parents of fourth graders should check out for information on a special free pass. And to learn more about Bandelier, explore the park website at and consider following the park Facebook page at BandelierNPS. For particular questions about Bandelier, call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517.

As Superintendent Lott said, "The parks are wonderful, and they're yours. We look forward to seeing you often!"