According to a report by the Federal Government, the National Parks of the U.S. Virgin Islands brought around $73 million to the territory in 2013. The report also revealed that the territory’s National Parks contributed 897 jobs for Virgin Islanders.
As the report charts the nation’s parks and the benefit they have on the local economies that they are a part of, and also the country as a whole, these results are a useful tool in gauging sub-segments of territory’s economy, most pointedly the tourism industry.
St. John’s The Winner
According to the report, about 591,002 people visited the Virgin Islands’ National Parks in 2013, with St. John scoring most of the visits as 438,601 visited the V.I. National Park on the small Island. Roughly 4,791 visited Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix, 28,972 came to Buck Island on Reef National Monument on St. Croix, and 118,638 tourists toured the Fort Christiansvaern national park site in Christiansted, St. Croix.
“The Virgin Islands is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” V.I. National Park Superintendent Brion Fitzgerald said in a written statement.
“We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to the Caribbean and to the U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands.”
The report on visitor spending, which is released annually, was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, in collaboration with Lynne Koontz from the National Park service.