Computations of Economic Impacts of USACE Visitor Spending
Four components are needed to estimate economic effects: recreation spending, visitor use estimates, capture rates and economic multipliers.
Economic effects = # of visits × average spending per visit × capture rate × regional economic multiplier
The visitation data used here was derived from the OMBIL and VERS database with 2016 data, while the spending profiles were estimated from a national visitor spending survey that was conducted in 1999/2000 and price indexed to 2016 dollars using Consumer Price Index by sectors. Capture rates and economic multipliers were estimated using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) system. IMPLAN is a microcomputer based input-output (I-O) modeling system that is currently maintained by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group Inc. Regional IMPLAN models were developed for each of the USACE projects, districts, divisions, plus a national model and 43 state models to estimate the total economic effects at various geographic levels. Spending averages were computed and multiplied by visitation statistics to estimate total annual visitor spending. Generalized spending profiles were developed for two sets of visitor segments: (1) campers and day users, and (2) boaters and non-boaters. These profiles were applied to recreation use data gathered from the visitation use survey and from VERS and National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) to estimate total spending by each segment for each of the 402 USACE lake and river projects included.
It is important to distinguish these results that employed local models, or "bottom-up" approach (aggregation of local effects) from the "top-down" approach that used state or U.S. models. The top-down effects were the results of total trip spending by USACE visitors (both within and outside 30 miles of projects' borders) and employed state or national multipliers. These effects were much higher than the aggregation of local effects because the higher capture rate and higher multipliers. The economic impact estimates employed the "top-down" approach are available on this website for all district, division, state and the national level reports.
Sources of Data
Chang, W. H., et al. (2012). US Army Corps of Engineers IWR- Regional Economic System. Computer Model and Online Database. Alexandria, VA: Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Chang, W. H., Stynes, D. J., Jackson, R. S., & Propst, D. B. (2012). US Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Economic Assessment System. Computer Model and Online Database. Alexandria, VA: Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Stynes, D.J., and Chang, W.H. (2007). National and Regional Economic Effects of CE Recreation Visitor Spending: An Update. Technical report, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. In press.
Chang, W.H., Propst, D.B., Stynes, D.J., and Jackson, R.S. (2003). Recreation Visitor Spending Profiles and Economic benefits to Corps of Engineers Projects. ERDC/EL TR-03-21. Technical report, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS.
Jackson, R. S., Stynes, D. J., Propst, D. B., and Carlson, B. D. (1996). A Summary of the National and State Economic Effects of the 1994 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Program. Technical Report R-96-1, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.
Operations and Maintenance Business Information Link (OMBIL) –(2018). Electronic database. Maintained by US Army Engineer, Washington, DC.
Visitation Estimation & Reporting System (VERS) –(2018). Electronic database. Maintained by US Army Engineer, Washington, DC.
National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS)- (2018). Proprietary electronic database. Transmitted to US Army Engineer, Washington, DC.