The National Park Service says the impact of Massachusetts' National Parks is $503 million. Nationwide the figure was put at $14.7 billion.

Locally, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is an $18 million economic boost for the Southcoast. To calculate visitor spending, the Park Service tallied camping fees, restaurants and bars, groceries and takeout food, gas and oil, local transportation, admissions and fees, and souvenirs and other expenses.

The Whaling National Historical Park counted close to 700 thousand visitors in 2012 and calculated total visitor spending at $13.3 million and the support of 193 jobs.