Tourism to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park creates $56.7 Million in Economic Benefits

Two children using a loom while textile artisan observes, with green National Park Service tent in the background
Partnerships such as the event Art, Artisans, and History at Chatham Manor help both the park and the local community

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News Release Date: May 8, 2017

Contact: John Hennessy, 540-693-3200 x 4010

Tourism to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park creates $56.7 Million in Economic Benefits

Report shows visitor spending supports 787 jobs in local economy

Fredericksburg, VA — A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 969,895 visitors to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in 2016 spent $56.7 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 787 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $75.3 million.
“Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding. “We are delighted to share the story of the battlefields and historic places and the experiences they provide. We also feature 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 more than $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 peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.  The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

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


Last updated: January 14, 2018

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