SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Tourism at Utah’s national parks contributed $2.6 billion to the state economy last year, according to the National Park Service.

A new NPS report showed that over 13 million people visited Utah’s national parks in 2022, spending over $1.6 billion in the state. The spending resulted in over 23,000 jobs, NPS officials said.

“Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 300 million visitors every year. The impact of tourism to national parks is undeniable: bringing jobs and revenue to communities in every state in the country and making national parks an essential driver to the national economy,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams.

NPS economists found that nationally, there was $23.9 billion of direct spending by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

What does this mean for the U.S. economy?

This spending reportedly supported 378,400 jobs, 314,600 of which are found in these “gateway communities,” NPS officials said. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.

As for how it works, the report showed that the lodging sector generated $9 billion in economic output, while the restaurants sector generated $4.6 billion.

Here is a list of national parks in Utah:

  • Arches National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • California National Historic Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  • Dinosaur National Park
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Golden Spike National Historical Park
  • Hovenweep National Monument
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument
  • Zion National Park

“Every park in the state offers unique experiences, from learning about history up-close to diverse outdoor recreational opportunities. There’s something for everyone to see and enjoy,” said Regional Director Kate Hammond.