Wednesday, May 11, 2016

1.3 million toured national parks in so. W.Va. in 2015

GLEN JEAN, WV – The National Park Service reports that 1,320,859 visitors toured the three park areas it manages in southern West Virginia in 2015, spent $56,266,400 in nearby communities and supported 846 local jobs with a cumulative economic benefit of $64,108,000.

Superintendent Trish Kicklighter said the agency was particularly please to be able to present the park areas to so many visitors.

“We are delighted to share the story of these places and the special experiences they can provide. Our parks are a great way to introduce 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 invested in the National Park Service."

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.

According to the report, most park visitor spending nationally 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).

Users can explore current visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies and view year-by-year trend data online at


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