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Secretary of the Interior Discusses Economic Benefits of National Parks Visits

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park on June 2 and announced several “fee-free weekends” this summer at National Parks. Representing the RV industry at the event was a travel trailer provided by RVIA member Airstream, a Thor Industries subsidiary.


The initiative is designed to stimulate visits to national parks, which boost economic activity in communities surrounding parks.  The “fee-free weekends” will permit people to enter national parks at no charge during one weekend per month between June and September 2009.


In addition to announcing the fee-free weekends, Secretary Salazar discussed the economic benefits of Americans enjoying outdoor recreation.


“Outdoor recreation is vital to local businesses and to ancillary industries like ours,” said Bob Wheeler, President and CEO of Airstream.  “National parks and access to camping destinations are important to our customers.”


The fee-free weekends are likely to attract more of America’s 30 million RVers to national parks this summer.  Surveys of RV owners conducted by RVIA show that national parks continue to be a popular destination for RVers.  More than 63 percent said RVing at a national park was a favorite activity in RVIA’s spring survey.


“RVers have always loved the outdoors and the natural world,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.  “The future of camping in the national parks will be increasingly green RVs that help families take eco-friendly and cost-effective vacations.”


Surveys also show that RVers are conservation-minded and protective of the environment.  For example, 77 percent recycle on RV trips vs. 57 percent who recycle on other kinds of vacations.  RV manufacturers are making green RVing easier than ever with eco-friendly features, materials and components.




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