South Carolina’s six national parks had a combined economic output of nearly $120 million last year, according to a report from the National Park Service.
About 1.7 million people visited the parks and spent about $93.5 million in the state. That spending supported 1,426 jobs, the report (.pdf) said.
Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor, which is only accessible by boat, tallied the most visits in the state, with more than 888,000. It also took in the most visitor spending, with nearly $52 million, and had economic output of $65.5 million, the report said.
Nationally, the report found that 331 million park visitors spent $18.4 billion, which supported 318,000 jobs and made a $34.9 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
About 31% of spending was for lodging; food and beverage accounted for roughly 27%; gas and oil made up nearly 12%; admissions and fees added about 10%; souvenirs and other expenses accounted for about 10%; local transportation was 7.4% of the total; and camping fees added 2.5%, the report said.
U.S. Geological Survey economist Catherine Cullinane Thomas and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz conducted the visitor spending analysis.
National Park Service visitor data for 2016
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant
Congaree National Park,
Cowpens National Battlefield, Chesnee
Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston Harbor
Kings Mountain National Military Park, Blacksburg
Ninety Six National Historic Site, Ninety Six
Source: National Park Service