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NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 215,256 visitors to Natchez National Historical Park in 2014 spent $12.072 million in the local community. That spending supported 190 jobs in the area.
"Natchez National Historical Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to Natchez," said Superintendent Kathleen Jenkins. "We are delighted to share the story of this town and the experiences at our Natchez Visitor Center, Melrose, and the William Johnson House as ways 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 of federal taxes invested in the National Park Service –and it's a big factor in our local economy as well."
Natchez National Historical Park was established in 1988 to assist with the preservation and interpretation of all of the history of Natchez, Mississippi as a significant part of the history of the United States.
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 $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally, with 235,600 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $29.7 billion.
More than 6.5 million people visited National Park Service sites in Mississippi during 2014 and spent $198 million within the state, supported 2,877 jobs, and contributed $210 million to the state's economy. The National Park Service sites within Mississippi include Natchez National Historical Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Tupelo National Battlefield, 80% of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and about 25% of Gulf Islands National Seashore.
According to the 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).
To download the report visit: 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 Mississippi and how the National Park Service works with Mississippi communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/mississippi.