Big South Fork tourism creates $26,116,000 in local economic benefit
A new National Park Service report for 2011 shows that the 607,000 visitors to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area spent $26,116,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 388 jobs in the local area.
“The Big South Fork is a very special place,” said park superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to Kentucky and Tennessee to experience the park and then spend time enjoying the services provided by our gateway communities and getting to know this beautiful part of the country. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America’s most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy.”
The information on the Big South Fork is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.
Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).
To learn more about national parks in Tennessee and Kentucky and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/Tennessee and www.nps.gov/Kentucky.