The nearly 12.1 million visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year reportedly had an economic impact of 1.38 billion US dollars on the local economy of the park neighbors.
“Despite an incredibly difficult year in the world and in our neighboring communities, we are proud to have worked with our communities to serve visitors to this area in 2020,” said Superintendent Cash. “We continue to strive to safely serve visitors to our communities and the park as they continue to explore our area and find the amazing resources the Smokies have to offer.”
Each year the National Park Service calculates the economic impact of visiting each park. Visitors to the Smokies spent $ 1.02 billion in communities near the park, helping 14,707 jobs.
However, the analysis does not take into account whether the 12.1 million Smokies visitors came here specifically for the national park or mainly for other reasons – such as Harrah’s Cherokee Casino or Gatlinburg – and came here by chance in the Smokies.
The economic impact reports show $ 14.5 billion in direct spending by more than 237 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. These expenses supported 234,000 jobs nationwide; 194,400 of these jobs can be found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the US economy was $ 28.6 billion.
The report’s authors also create an interactive tool that enables users to examine visitor spending, jobs, income from work, value added and output effects by sector for national, state and local economies. Users can also view trend data for each year. The interactive tool and report are available on the NPS Social Science Program page at NPS.gov.
To learn more about national parks in North Carolina and Tennessee, and how the National Park Service works with communities in both states to preserve local history, protect the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, visit www.nps.gov/ TENNESSEE or www. nps.gov/NORTHCAROLINA.