Value of national parks to the Queensland economy
While the conservation of nature is the primary purpose of Queensland’s protected areas, their value extends well beyond this to include many other environmental, economic, cultural, social and health benefits.
Queensland’s protected areas are places where locals, visitors and tourists alike are able to undertake nature-based outdoor leisure and active recreation. Healthy and well-managed protected areas are the foundation of the state’s ecotourism industry, which provides significant economic benefits for local and regional communities, including substantial employment opportunities.
A study by The University of Queensland showed that in 2018, national park generated spending in this state contributed at least $297 million to the economy (Gross State Product), which in turn supported at least 2,725 total jobs (based on spending that would not have occurred in Queensland if the opportunity to visit national parks had not been available—considered a lower bound measure). For those visitors who stated that national parks were ‘very important’ to their travel and spending in Queensland, these figures increase to $1.98 billion for Gross State Product and 17,241 total jobs respectively (considered the upper bound measure). This study also estimated the dollar value of the net benefits to park visitors (consumer surplus) which adds another $659 million per annum, of which $238 million accrues to Queenslanders.