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Report: visitor spending supports 128 jobs

ANDERSONVILLE — A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 114,816 visitors to Andersonville National Historic Site in 2015 spent $7.4 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 128 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $9.2 million.
“Andersonville National Historic Site welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Charles Sellars. “We are honored to preserve and share the stories of American prisoners of war throughout history. Each site within Andersonville National Historic Site – the historic Camp Sumter Civil War Prison, Andersonville National Cemetery, and the National Prisoner of War Museum – offers a unique and powerful experience for visitors. All of them serve to remember and honor American soldiers who fought, suffered, and died for their country and for our freedom.
“The park also serves to introduce our visitors to this part of Georgia and all that it offers. 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 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 $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion. According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).
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: go.nps.gov/vse.
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.