|National Park Week|
This is National Park Week, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that record visitation in 2016, saw 33 million visitors to America’s 417 National Park Service sites and contributed $35 billion to the U.S. economy. According to the annual peer-reviewed economics report, 2016 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, the strong economic output is attributed to record visitation and visitor spending in “gateway” communities near national park entrances. The report also found visitor spending supported 318,000 jobs . Tennessee ranks tenth in the nation in visitor spending, with $665 million spent by visitors to national parks in the state. That spending supported 10,200 jobs, brought in salaries totaling $320 million and contributed 'value added' income of $540 million, to Tennessee.