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Visitors to 21 national parks in Va. had cumulative benefit to state’s economy of nearly $2 billion

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 22,233,323 visitors to 21 national parks in Virginia spent over $1.2 billion in Virginia in 2021. That spending resulted in 18,000 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of nearly $2 billion.

The national parks in Virginia include:
1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail;
2. Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park;
3. Arlington House;
5. Robert E. Lee Memorial;
6. Blue Ridge Parkway;
7. Booker T. Washington National Monument;
8. Colonial National Historical Park;
9. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park;
10. Fort Monroe National Monument;
11. Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park;
12. George Washington Memorial Parkway;
13.George Washington Birthplace National Monument;
13. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park;
15. Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site;
16. Manassas National Battlefield Park;
17. Petersburg National Battlefield;
18. Prince William Forest Park;
19. Richmond National Battlefield Park;
20. Shenandoah National Park; and
21. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Economists at the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis. The report shows that nationwide, $20.5 billion of direct spending by more than 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally; 269,900 of those jobs are in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.

As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector was had the second greatest effects, with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.

Report authors also produced an interactive tool to explore 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:  .

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