Home Report: Shenandoah National Park contributes $145M to local economy
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Report: Shenandoah National Park contributes $145M to local economy

Rebecca Barnabi
Shenandoah National Park
(© Vladimir Grablev – stock.adobe.com)

A new report from the National Park Service reveals that 1.4 million visitors to Shenandoah National Park in 2022 spent $104 million in local communities.

Visitor spending supports 1,240 jobs in nearby communities, and a cumulative benefit of $145 million for the local economy.

“Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 300 million visitors every year. 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 report was conducted at the National Park Service and shows $23.9 billion of direct spending by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park in the United States in 2022. The spending supported 378,400 jobs nationally; 314,600 of which are found in the gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.

“Visitors to Shenandoah National Park come seeking opportunities to learn, recreate, relax and build community,” Superintendent Pat Kenney said. “We recognize that tourism has an effect on the local economy, and we strive to provide an excellent visitor experience to inspire visitors to continue to return to the area for generations to come.”

The lodging industry had the highest direct effects on visitor spending with $9 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants industry had the second greatest effects with $4.6 billion in economic output nationally.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.