Blue Ridge Parkway brings in $1.3 billion for local economy

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Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 4:29 PM EDT
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VIRGINIA (WDBJ) - In 2022, over 15 million visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway spent nearly $1.3 billion in surrounding communities and supported 17,824 jobs according to the National Park Service’s (NPS) report.

The visitor spending analysis was conducted by NPS economists and showed the cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy totaling $50.3 billion. Users can also view year-by-year trend data here.

“...The impact of tourism to national parks is undeniable: bringing jobs and revenue to communities in every state in the country and making national parks an essential driver to the national economy,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams.

The lodging sector had the highest impact on the economy with a $9 billion output nationally with the restaurants sector responsible for the second greatest effect of $4.6 billion in economic output nationally.

“While people come to the Blue Ridge Parkway to learn, hike, drive, be inspired, relax, and so much more, the Parkway was always envisioned as a driver for tourism in the local economies across the 469-mile corridor,” said Superintendent Tracy Swartout.

To learn more about the National Park Service, click here.