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Zoos and Aquariums as Economic Engines

15 Aug 2011
by Linda Cendes, Program Assistant, Comms, AZA
The cumulative economic impact of the 212 US AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums is US$16bn and 142,000 jobs

In a tough economic climate, it's important to remember that attractions aren't stand-alone entities, but are closely linked with, and supported by, local and national suppliers.

Vendors, restaurants, hotels and construction firms all benefit from the presence of attractions and their visitors.

To capture the critical economic impact that its members had locally, regionally and nationally, AZA commissioned economist Dr Stephen Fuller. He concluded: "Annual spending by zoos and aquariums for operations and capital projects generate significant economic benefits for their host jurisdictions. These benefits build from the initial outlays, as they're re-spent across the breadth of the economy... These benfits also generate earnings to the benefit of workers and support job growth locally, regionally and nationally."

The cumulative economic impact of the 212 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in the US is: US$16bn (£9.8bn, €11.25bn) in economic activity; US4.7bn (£2.9bn, €3.3bn) in salaries and wages; and 142,000 jobs.

"Zoos and aquariums are important economic engines," said Jim Maddy, president and CEO of AZA. "Not only are they deeply committed to science education and wildlife conservation, but they generate jobs and support local communities."

Today, economic messages resonate with government officials and the general public. By conducting their own studies, zoos and aquariums can prove just how vital they are as contributors to the larger economy.



Tags: Attractions Management  theme & waterparks  tourism  visitor attractions  commercial leisure 

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