Visitors to Oklahoma State Parks Contributed $413.2 Million to Local Economies in 2021

Saturday, 01 October 2022 08:01

Visitors to Oklahoma State Parks Contributed $413.2 Million to Local Economies in 2021 Featured

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New research shows that visitors to Oklahoma State Parks spent $354.2 million statewide, helping support 2,980 jobs

OKLAHOMA CITY — In 2021, visitors to Oklahoma State Parks spent $354.2 million in the communities surrounding the parks, according to new research commissioned by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.

Visitors who stayed overnight in a state park contributed 31.7% of the total spending.

Visitor activity to state parks generated 2,980 jobs across the state of Oklahoma. Proprietors and employees of travel-related businesses took home $59 million in earnings and benefits.

As a result of visitor traffic to Oklahoma State Parks, travel spending generated approximately $15.5 million in state tax receipts and $9.3 million in local taxes.

“Oklahoma's state parks are a crucial part of the state’s tourism industry, generating jobs and dollars in our communities from traveler spending,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who also serves as Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage. “Travelers are discovering what Oklahomans have known all along — the Oklahoma outdoors are incredible.”

To better understand the economic impact of Oklahoma’s state parks on local communities, OTRD commissioned Dean Runyan Associates, an industry-leading research firm, to conduct research. The report breaks down data by origin and visitor characteristics, as well as an overview of each park’s impact.

According to the report, Oklahomans make up 59% of overnight visitors to Oklahoma State Parks. Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri are among states outside Oklahoma with the most overnight visitors.

The full report can be found at OTRD.TravelOK.com/Research.

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