The latest statistics show that Grand Canyon visitation is trending higher, bucking a trend at other National Park Service (NPS) units nationwide. Through April, official reports showed that 1,086,992 people visited Grand Canyon National Park year-to-date, a .35% increase vs. the same period in 2006.
The same report indicated that, system wide, the National Park System received 63.8 million recreation visits from January through April. This was a 3.6% decrease in recreation visits, or 2.4 million fewer visits than in 2006.
Approximately 50% of the nation’s park units reported a year-to-date decrease in visits. The lingering winter-like weather has affected the Midwest Region (-10% or -350,000 visits), National Capital Region (-13% or -1.8 million visits) and the Northeast Region (-5% or -500,000 visits).
At Grand Canyon, no statistics were immediately available on the place of origin of the myriad park visitors. But as a thirteen year resident of I have noticed a large increase in the annual influx of international visitors. In particular, the Europeans seem to be flocking to the park in greater numbers—no doubt aided by the weak U.S. dollar vs. cross-Atlantic currencies of late.