Tourism to Mammoth Cave National Park creates $69.2 million in Economic Benefits

Report shows visitor spending supports 643 jobs in local economy
Photo: NPS
Photo: NPS(WKYT)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. (WBKO) - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 516,000 visitors to Mammoth Cave National Park in 2021 spent $47.9 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 643 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $69.2 million.

“Mammoth Cave National Park is a major destination for hundreds of thousands of people traveling to Kentucky each and every year,” said Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “Our gateway communities are where these travelers can find a place to sleep and eat and make use of the many other local services and attractions that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry in southcentral Kentucky. There is no way we could provide a quality and memorable experience to our guests without them.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The report shows $20.5 billion of direct spending by more than 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally; 269,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.

As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector had the second greatest effects, with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value-added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

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

Mammoth Cave National Park encompasses 52,830 acres in south central Kentucky, commemorating the diverse geological, biological, and historical features associated with the longest cave in the world. Learn more about the park at, and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Copyright 2022 WBKO. All rights reserved.