DETROIT — Federal data show that tourism to Michigan’s national parks has increased.
Figures from the National Park Service show that tourism is up more than 5 percent at the state’s national parks through July, The Detroit News reported .
The parks have seen a record number of visitors over the last two years. Reports show that Michigan parks had a total of 2.7 million visitors last year. The five parks have drawn more than 1.5 million visitors from January through July this year.
“(Michigan has) even more visitors at this point in 2017 than we had in 2016, and 2016 was a record-breaking year,” said Lauren Blacik, special assistant for the National Park Service Midwest Region.
Merrith Baughman, the chief of interpretation and visitor services at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, said July was the first time the park reached more than half a million visitors in a month.
Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior saw almost 16,000 visitors as of July, a nearly 20-percent increase when compared to the same time last year.
The more than 410 national parks in the U.S. had more than 330 million visitors last year, Blacik said.
“Nationally, we saw a huge increase in enthusiasm and support for our national parks around the National Park Service centennial last year in 2016, and that seems to have just continued this year in 2017 with more people wanting to explore their national parks, discovering those parks they might not even have known are in their backyards and planning vacations to national parks,” Blacik said.
Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/