Appalachian Trail Histories


Economic Impact of the AT

Wilderness Sign

This sign outside Monson warns Appalachian Trail hikers that they are about to enter the dreaded 'Wilderness.'

Tourists, especially in remote or rural areas, can have a significant economic impact on a town or local populace.

The money they spend in restaurants, motels and shops create direct, indirect and induced economic impact in the same way that of any export of a good or service to consumers, according to a study by the University of Maine.

Bergstrom et. al. (1990: 30) explains this concept as it applies to recreation:

“The direct and indirect effects of recreational spending result in an overall increase in the production and distribution of goods and services in a rural area. This increase in economic activity results in increased employment and household income. Increases in household income, in turn, increase consumer demand for goods and services. … In order to meet this increased demand, even more multiple-round purchases of inputs will be stimulated. Economic activity stimulated by increased consumer purchases are the induced effects of recreational spending on the rural area economy.”