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Out-of-state visitors to parks generated $400 million in economic activity

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Cape Henlopen State Park


Gov. John Carney yesterday announced the results of the first-ever economic impact study of Delaware’s 16 state parks.

The study by Rockport Analytics showed that, in fiscal year 2016, out-of-state visitors generated nearly $400 million in economic activity, or about $245 in spending per visitor.

“The economic impact of our state parks on our economy is tremendous,” Carney said. “Our state parks provide Delawareans and visitors with fun things to do, but also support nearly 6,700 full and part-time jobs across the state and made a significant contribution to state and local taxes.”

Other results include:

  • Every tax dollar supporting state parks generated $40 in economic activity, more than double the return on investment of surrounding states.
  • Without the state parks system, Delaware households would need to pay an average of $151 more to maintain current tax revenues.
  • In 2016, nearly $53 million in state and local taxes were generated by the parks system, including $12 million in hotel taxes, $4.7 million in income taxes and $9.5 million in property taxes.

“These statistics support our belief that our parks are a significant economic engine for Delaware,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The figures show that every time someone visits a state park, they are not only enjoying Delaware’s recreational opportunities, but they are also contributing to the state’s economy. Every dollar the State invests comes back by a multiple of 40 in economic activity in Delaware.”

The full report is available here: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/Documents/DSP-System-Wide-Economic-Impact-Statement.pdf

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