349,244 visitors to Carlsbad Caverns last year spent $25.1M in nearby communities

349,244 Carlsbad Caverns visitors spent $25.1M in nearby communities last year

In 2021, 349,244 visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park spent $25.1 million in nearby communities, according to a new National Park Service (NPS) report.

“That spending supported 312 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $27.4 million,” the NPS said.

Economists with NPS and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted the peer-reviewed analysis.

Here’s the economic breakdown for how visitors spent $25.1 million last year:

  • Lodging: $8.5M
  • Restaurants: $4.9M
  • Gas: 4.3M
  • Retail: 2.2M
  • Recreation industries: $1.8M
  • Groceries: $1.7M
  • Transportation: $1.2M
  • Camping: $469K

“National parks are a vital part of our nation’s economy, especially for park gateway communities where millions of visitors each year find a place to sleep and eat and make use of other local services that help drive a vibrant tourism industry,” said Superintendent Carmen Chapin. “At Carlsbad Caverns National Park, we are excited to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.”

Nationally, the analsys found that over 297 million visitors to NPS parks spent $20.5 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park, which supported 322,600 jobs nationally.

To view the analysis, go here. Learn more about Carlsbad Caverns National Park here.