INTERIOR, S.D. (AP) – The 4.2 million people who visited the Badlands and Black Hills National Park sites last year spent more than $276 million at nearby communities.
A new report from the National Park Service also shows that tourism supported 4,677 jobs in area.
Park Superintendent Mike Pflaum says national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy and a “big factor” in the local economy as well.
The tourism figures for the Badlands and Black Hills National Park sites are part of a national report analyzing the effects of park visitors’ spending. The report shows that park visitors in 2015 spent the most on lodging, followed by food and beverages, gas and oil, admissions and fess, and souvenirs and other expenses.