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National park site visitors mostly spend on hotels, restaurants in Charleston area

Staff Report //May 31, 2018//

National park site visitors mostly spend on hotels, restaurants in Charleston area

Staff Report //May 31, 2018//

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Fort Sumter and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site in Mount Pleasant brought in nearly 1 million visitors in 2017. (Photo/Andy Owens)

The Charles Pinckney house is located on Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. (Photo/Andy Owens)

Visitors look through the Sally Port at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor. (Photo/National Park Service)

How visitors spent money in 2017

Spending                   Percentage
Hotels                         31.3%
Restaurants               22.7%
Gasoline                     13.3%
Retail                          12%
Recreation                 8.9%
Groceries                   5.4%
Transportation         3.4%
Camping                    3.0%
Source: National Park Service

Visitors to federal historic sites brought in more than $54 million in 2017 to surrounding communities in the Charleston area, according to a National Park Service report. The report shows that about half of the money is going to hotels and restaurants.

The economic study found Fort Sumter National Monument off the coast of Charleston’s peninsula and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site in Mount Pleasant brought in nearly 1 million visitors in 2017. The spending from the two sites helped support 768 jobs in the Charleston area and represented a cumulative $67.7 million influx of cash to the local economy, the park service found.

The National Park Service study, which was conducted by economists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the park service, found that 54% of the spending went toward hotels and lodging and restaurants in the Charleston area.

Fort Sumter National Monument Superintendent Tracy Stakely said the national historic sites help visitors from across the world understand the locations significance to American history. He said the economic impact of traveling to and through the Lowcountry adds $10 for every dollar spent by the National Park Service.

“The Charleston area National Park sites are national treasures that provide tangible links to the history, culture, and resources important to the development of both South Carolina and the United States,” Stakely said in a statement.

The park service said the peer-reviewed spending study reported an $18.2 billion impact at the 417 sites that brought in 330 million visitors last year.

 

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