Reader Participation Day: Is The Current Level Of Visitation To National Parks A Concern?
Latest visitation figures show that tourism to the National Park System dipped somewhat in 2010, dropping from 285.5 million in 2009 to 281.3 million last year. Is that a concern?
Some would say that if you spent a summer day in the Yosemite Valley or on the apron of the Old Faithful Geyser or on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon you'd be hard-pressed to say the parks are struggling as a tourism destination.
But others point to that 281.3 million figure and start to worry about the lure of the parks, even though in 2008 the number was 274.8 million.
If you think the 2010 visitation tally of 281.3 million is a concern, why do you think the number slipped, and what do you think can or should be done to increase visitation?