National parks and other protected areas traditionally have been created and funded to provide conservation benefits. However, they also provide rural and regional economic benefits stemming from the jobs created both by management agency expenditure and by the spending of visitors who come to the parks. Unfortunately, quantitative data on park tourism’s contribution to rural economies is limited. The research reported here provided estimates of this contribution, while also providing information regarding park visitor characteristics, experiences, and preferences.
by Kreg Lindberg and Jon M. Denstadli