new National Park Service report shows that 14.1 million visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2020 spent $1.1 billion in communities near the park.

That spending supported 15.5 thousand jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $1.3 billion.

The report shows, overall, $14.5 billion of direct spending by more than 237 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

This spending supported 234,000 jobs nationally; 194,400 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $28.6 billion.

The lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $5 billion in economic output. The restaurants sector had the second greatest effects, with $3 billion in economic output. Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 43,100 jobs and more than 45,900 jobs in restaurants.

Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 18,100 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 14,300 jobs.

You can learn more at NPS.gov/NC.