DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation recently partnered with Rockport Analytics to get a snapshot of what state parks contribute to the state economy.
DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin says his agency and the State’s Tourism Department both wanted a sense of what return the First State gets from investing in its parks.
“And what we found out was, that for every $1 the State of Delaware put into the parks, it brings back $40 into the State’s economy, which is more than double any of our surrounding states. So, it goes to show you that tourism is a major part of Delaware’s economy,” said Garvin.
Garvin also points out the study shows if there were no state parks system, each Delaware household would need to pay an average of $151 in additional state and local taxes to make up for the revenue parks contribute to the budget bottom line.
In 2016, the report found nearly $53 million dollars in state and local taxes were generated by the parks system, including $12 million dollars in hotel taxes, $4.7 million dollars in incomes taxes and $9.5 million dollars in property taxes.
Garvin says it’s no accident state parks draw people to Delaware.
“I think first and foremost, it’s the amazing parks and beaches and lakes, waterparks and things that we have here in the state. I think it also goes to the State of Delaware itself; the intimate family-feel that we not only have in our park system, but that you really get throughout our state and the businesses that we have here," said Garvin.