New Survey: National Park Visits Strong In Arizona Last Year

July 18, 2014

A new study said more than 10 million people visited Arizona’s national parks last year. The survey showed national park tourists generated about three-quarters of a billion dollars for the state’s economy in 2013.

The 20 national parks in Arizona continued to attract tourists from around the world despite the federal government shutdown that forced the parks to close for 16 days last year. Spokesman Patrick O’Driscoll said most national parks in other parts of the country saw a slight drop in visits and economic activity, but Arizona fared well.

“Arizona actually went up in all categories so about $774 million in economic benefit," O-Driscoll said. "That’s versus the 2012 figure which was about $746 million.”

Governor Jan Brewer used state money to keep Grand Canyon National Park open for a few days during the shutdown and Arizona is still seeking reimbursement of those funds from the federal government. The study also shows the national parks supported more almost 12,000 jobs statewide last year.