Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park visitors contribute $149 million to Big Island economy in 2022

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The Big Island’s economy got a big boost from visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park in 2022.

Visitors watch the summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from the Keanakākoʻi side of the caldera on June 6. (National Park Service photo by Janice Wei)

A new peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis conducted by economists at the National Park Service revealed 1.6 million visitors flooded the national park last year, spending $149 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,500 jobs in the area and $195 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding the park.

“We recognize that tourism is a critical driver to the local economy,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “People come to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to experience volcanic eruptions, the rich island biodiversity, and cherished cultural landscapes.”

The report also showed $23.9 billion of direct spending nationwide by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 378,400 jobs nationally. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.


“Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 300 million visitors every year,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The impact of tourism to national parks is undeniable: bringing jobs and revenue to communities in every state in the country and making national parks an essential driver to the national economy.”

As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects with $9 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurant sector had the second greatest effects with $4.6 billion nationally.

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



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