U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (H.R. 1957):
“Our national parks are more critical centers of travel and tourism than ever, and the Senate has done a very wise thing to prioritize this legislation to support their upkeep. In addition to the greatly positive impact on the infrastructure and maintenance needs at national parks, and this bill will also help protect the use of public lands for the travel- and tourism-dependent recreation industry.
“Data is showing conclusively that Americans are much more comfortable traveling by car and recreating outdoors as we continue to cope with the pandemic, which will make national parks very important leisure travel destinations for the foreseeable future.
“Given their vital role as drivers for the regional economies around them, national parks are cornerstones not only of America’s cultural and geographical heritage, but also of American prosperity. In 2019 alone, national parks welcomed 327 million visitors who contributed $41.7 billion to the economy and supported 340,500 jobs.
“We thank Sen. Gardner, Sen. Daines and Sen. Manchin for their leadership on this bill, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress on measures to secure the future of our national parks for all Americans.”
Click here for more background on national parks issues from the U.S. Travel Association.