LAS CRUCES >> Visitors to New Mexico’s national parks and monuments in 2013 spent about $83.2 million dollars and supported 1,136 jobs, according to a new National Park Service report.
Sue Masica, director of the NPS’s Intermountain Region, said in a news release that the report highlights the importance of national park tourism in the New Mexico and national economies.
In New Mexico, more than 1.5 million visitors spent time at national parks in 2013, an increase of 0.65 percent over the previous year. Visitor spending increased by 2.59 percent and the amount of jobs supported by tourism increased 1.16 percent from 2012.
According to the report, most park spending was for lodging (30.3 percent), food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent) and admissions and fees (10.3 percent). Souvenirs and other expenses accounted for the remaining 10 percent.
According to www.nps.gov/newmexico, New Mexico has one national park (Carlsbad Caverns), 10 national monuments (including White Sands) and more than 50 other national trails, areas, landmarks and historical parks.
In May, President Barack Obama formally designated nearly half a million acres of land in Doña Ana County as Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.