HARRISON, Ark. (KFSM) — According to the 2018 National Park Service Spending Effects Report, an estimated 1.2 million Buffalo National River visitors spent $54.9 million in the region last year.
The annual report measures the economic impact of National Park Service sites on surrounding communities where park visitors find additional amenities and attractions like shopping, dining and lodging. The annual estimates are calculated using visitor surveys and spending patterns, visitation data and regional economic multipliers.
According to the report, hotels and restaurants were the greatest affected sectors in the area, sharing roughly half of the revenue derived from Buffalo National River visitation. Gas and groceries shared another thirty percent of the total revenue.
“The outstanding recreational opportunities available at Buffalo National River are only a part of the experience that visitors are seeking. Getting out into the park, combined with time in nearby communities, is a one-of-a-kind experience,” Superintendent Mark Foust said. “This report shows that park visitors are investing time and money in our communities, which supports local jobs and income.”
In July 2018, a toxic blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) was identified within the Buffalo River.
At 135 miles long, Buffalo National River flows through Newton, Searcy, Marion and Baxter Counties. The park’s gateway communities are located in all of these counties, including Boone County.
Click here to view the 2018 National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects Report.