Tourism to Little River Canyon National Preserve Creates Economic Benefit

Fort Payne, Ala. – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 650,000 visitors to Little River Canyon National Preserve in 2019 spent $38.7 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 598 jobs in the local area.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $21 billion of direct spending by 327.5 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 341,000 jobs nationally and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $41.7 billion.

According to the 2019 economic analysis, most visitor spending nationally was for lodging (33.7% – $7.1 billion) followed by food and beverages (20% – $4.2 billion), and fuel (10.3% – $2.2 billion). The remaining 36% is divided among recreation industries, transportation, retail, groceries, and camping. The largest job categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants (64,100 jobs) and lodging (60,500 jobs).

To download the report, visit The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To see how the National Park Service benefits the national economy, state economies, and the economies of areas around individual national parks, visit

To learn more about national parks in Alabama and how the National Park Service works with Alabama communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to