Close, but No Cigar!
In 1987 the National Park Service in the USA recorded its highest ever amount of visitors with 287.2 million people heading out the various parks across the states. In 2009, however, the number came ever so close to toppling that feat with just over 285 million visitors during the year.
While there may be no partying in the USA despite running close to breaking the countries record, there is still a great achievement having beating 2008’s visitor total by 10 million. The statistics have heralded this 3.9% increase from 2008 as a great triumph for the National Park Service’s considering the effects of a weak economy has had on the nation over the course of 2009.
The US Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, is pleased that the travel industry is faring well during the ‘credit crunch’ but isn’t overly surprised, “Our National Park’s are treasures that tell the story of our country and celebrate its beauty and culture, and they provide vacation bargains for families living on a tight budget.”
A number of factors are said to have contributed to this great success including a visit by President Barack Obama and his family to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, two of the country’s most prized National Parks. Some parks even waived entry fees over selected weekends in an attempt to encourage more visitors, fuel prices were also lowered during 2009 which meant travel was cheaper for visitors. The Euro was stronger than the US Dollar over the year also which meant travel to the USA was good value for money.