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Contact: Ardrianna McLane, 678-538-1241
Report shows visitor spending supports 4,752 jobs in local economy
Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, and Atlanta, Ga.: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6,004,206 visitors to Atlanta Metro Area National Parks in 2014 spent over $290 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 4,752 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $419,966,500.
The Atlanta Metro area enjoys three National Park Service (NPS) units that tell the story of our shared heritage from Civil war to Civil Rights and protects more than half of the area's public green space. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offer recreation, natural scenic beauty, and a chance to be inspired and humbled by our collective legacy of Civil Rights.
"Kennesaw Mountain's powerful story and excellent recreation opportunities have made it one of the most heavily visited battlefield parks in the nation. In 2014, we welcomed 23,000 visitors to celebrate and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Kennesaw", said Kennesaw Mountain Superintendent Nancy Walther.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. left a legacy that still resonates today. We share his teachings and commemorate his legacy with the next generation. Through our work with our community, partners, and visitors, we can share the story of where he was lived, worked, and worshipped", said Martin Luther King Superintendent Judy Forte.
"We welcome 3.2 million visitors from across the nation and next door to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area each year to hike, bike, and paddle the river and trails. 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 and support our local communities," said Chattahoochee River Superintendent Bill Cox.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 millionpark visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).
Download the report at https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm 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 www.nps.gov/georgia. Want to visit and #FindYourPark?