National Park visits on the decline

In previous articles we have documented the entertainment staycation trend, the decades long decline in both participation in and spending on entertainment on trips. New data we analyzed on visits to U.S. National Parks confirms our previous research.

We examined recreation visits to the National Parks since 2000 (recreational visits include all visits where the park was a destination, including overnight visits). Although total park visits have increased by 1% over the twelve years, when you factor out the 11% increase in the U.S. population during that time, we find that per capita visits have decreased by over one-tenth (11%).

We also analyzed the number of overnight backcountry, RV and tent campers visiting the parks, which are included in the above numbers. Total annual overnight visits declined by almost one-eleventh (8.8%) and on a per capita basis they declined by over one-sixth (17.7%)

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