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Economic Impact of Parks Canada

Executive Summary

Download a printable version of the report (PDF 1.3 MB)

Parks Canada makes a substantial economic contribution to Canada’s economy.  Through the spending of the organization and the visitors to Parks Canada’s National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas, a significant and widespread economic impact is felt throughout the country.

In 2008/09 Parks Canada’s organizational spending and visitor spending totalled $3.3 billion.  Of this amount, visitor spending accounted for $2.7 billion and $587 million was spent by Parks Canada on the three program areas.  The overall national economic impacts derived from the spending attributed to Parks Canada on the Canadian economy are:

Gross Domestic Product      $2,988 million
Labour Income                    $1,925 million
Employment                         41,720 fulltime equivalents
Tax Revenue                        $218 million

National impacts by program area in 2008/09 were:

Parks Canada Program

Economic Impact

Gross Domestic Product (millions)

Labour Income (millions)

Employment (FTE)

Tax Revenue

National Parks





National Historic Sites





National Marine Conservation Areas














With visitors accounting for 81.8% of total spending, it is reasonable to expect visitor spending to have the greater impact.  In fact, visitor spending generates 75.5% of the GDP impacts; 75.8% of employment impacts and 62.5% of the tax impact.

Spending by non-Canadian visitors to Parks Canada locations – $1.2 billion – represents 45% of all visitor spending.  The impacts generated by this non-Canadian visitor spending contributes to Canada’s balance of international payments and creates a GDP impact nationally of $967 million and adds $57.5 million to tax revenues.


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