Tourism to Metro-Atlanta National Parks Creates $268 Million in Economic Benefit

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Date: August 5, 2014
Contact: Martin Luther King Jr., NHS, 404-331-5190
Contact: Kennesaw Mountain NBP, 770-427-4686
Contact: Chattahoochee River NRA, 678-538-1200

Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, and Atlanta, Ga.: National parks are treasures to be enjoyed by all,and national parks also make a positive impact economically within their community. A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that over 5.5 million visitors to the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Area in 2013 spent $268,442,700 in communities near the park. That spending supported 3,863 jobs in the local area.

Superintendent Judy Forte, of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, affirms, "The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is one of Atlanta's top visitor destinations. Our park highlights the Civil Rights Movement and the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King worked so diligently to promote". Visitation for the park for 2013 was 704,168. Total visitor spending equaled $38,813,500, supporting 574 jobs.

"We just completed our sesquicentennial Civil War commemoration this year at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, with great turn-out and support from those who visited us from the community, as well as from those who visited us from across the country", states Superintendent Nancy Walther. According to the new report, Kennesaw Mountain saw 1,924,076 visits in 2013, with spending at $106,054,300, supporting 1,566 jobs.

Says Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Superintendent Bill Cox, "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities." The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area was visited last year by 3,039,894, with spending by visitors at $123,574,900.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report visit The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Georgia and how the National Park Service works with Georgia communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Sandy Springs, GA 30350



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