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Value of National Heritage Areas, By the Numbers

National Heritage Areas are not only places of history, cultural and natural wonder, they are also good for the economy, says a recent economic impact study commissioned by the NPS in conjunction with the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA)and completed by the nationally-recognized consulting firm Tripp Umbach of Pittsburgh.

The report found that National Heritage Areas contribute $12.9 billion annually to the national economy, 148,000 jobs and $1.2 billion annually in Federal taxes.

The recently completed report, titled Supporting Regional Economies: National Heritage Areas and Their Impact, found that the program is one of the Department of the Interior’s most cost-effective initiatives.

Heritage areas actively collaborate with local partners to carry out their mission. Along with the goals of cultural, historical, and natural resource protection, heritage area management organizations strive to improve the quality of life in their regions by fostering the development of sustainable economies.

The economic benefits of NHAs are realized in three primary methods: tourism and visitation, operational expenditures, and grant-making and support. Of the $12.9 billion benefit to the national economy, the majority (99%) is attributed to tourism and visitation spending.

NHAs support more than 148,000 jobs of which approximately 94,000 are directly supported by NHAs and 54,000 are indirect and induced jobs. The majority of employment supported by NHAs nationally is concentrated within sectors traditionally associated with visitor spending and travel. Food service, retail, lodging, and amusements comprise the businesses that have experienced the greatest increase in employment due to NHAs in their regions.

“NHAs are places where small investments pay huge dividends, providing demonstrable benefits in communities across the country and in partnership with our national parks.” says NPS Director Jon Jarvis.

A longer report that focuses solely on the NHAs in the Northeast Region concludes that the 20 NHAs in this region contribute $5.4 billion annually to the economy. This economic activity supports approximately 66,000 jobs and $607 million annually in Federal taxes.

To read the full report and learn more, click here.

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