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Report: San Diego Zoo Group Added $856M To Economy In 2012

Above: Elephant-shaped topiary sits near the entrance to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park.

Aired 2/11/14 on KPBS News.

A new report finds the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have an $876 million economic impact on the local economy.

Document

2012 San Diego Zoo Global Economic Impact Report

2012 San Diego Zoo Global Economic Impact Report

A new report finds the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have an $876 million economic impact on the local economy.

San Diego Zoo Global employs about 2,300 people on a payroll of $117 million, but the economic reach of the local organization was much broader.

The San Diego County Taxpayer Association worked with Applied Development Economies to gauge how much horsepower the zoo's tourism engine generates. The report concluded the zoo was linked to 9,920 jobs.

Taxpayers's Association economist Sean Karafin said the Zoo and Safari Park had an economic impact of $320 million.

"The about $560 million the remain, comes from other visitor spending that came to the region because people came to the region to go to the zoo," Karafin said.

About 57 percent of the visitors at the zoo are from out of town, according to the report, and about 20 percent of the Safari Park's visitors are tourists.

The report also found that San Diego Zoo Global was responsible for the generation of more than $76 million in state and local taxes in 2012.

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