Natchez Trace Parkway Tourism Creates $125.9 Million in Local Economic Benefits

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS:  A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2012 shows that 5.6 million recreational visitors to the Natchez Trace Parkway spent $125.9 million in the communities surrounding the Park.  This spending supported over 1,550 jobs in the local area.

“The Natchez Trace Parkway extends 444-miles through 41 county and municipal jurisdictions in the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi,” said Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. We are delighted to share the story of this place, the experiences it provides, and to use the Park as a way to introduce our 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 Nations 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 Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, U.S. Geological Survey economists, and Lynn Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, most visitors spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent). The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. The following link provides NPS b-roll (stock video) for your use on reporting 2012 National Park visitor spending report: (

To learn more about the economic impact of all national park units in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreational opportunities, go to:


Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

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