National Park tourism in Virginia contributes nearly $1.9 billion to state economy

Shenandoah National Park

~ Press release provided by National Park Service

New report shows visitor spending supports 17,662 jobs in Virginia

ATLANTA, Ga., Aug. 21— A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 22,507,067 visitors to national parks in Virginia spent more than $1.2 billion in the state in 2022. That spending resulted in 17,662 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of nearly $1.9 billion. 

“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.    

National park sites in Virginia include:  

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail (various states) 
  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park 
  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial 
  • Assateague Island National Seashore (MD, VA) 
  • Booker T. Washington National Monument 
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (VA, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA) 
  • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park  
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed (VA, DC, DE, MD, PA, WV)  
  • Colonial National Historical Park (includes Jamestown and Yorktown Battlefield)  
  • Fort Monroe National Monument 
  • Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park 
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway (DC, VA, MD) 
  • Great Falls Park 
  • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site 
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park 
  • Petersburg National Battlefield 
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (DC, MD, PA, VA) 
  • Prince William Forest 
  • Richmond National Battlefield Park 
  • Shenandoah National Park 
  • Thomas Stone National Monument 
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (various states) 
  • Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts 

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis, conducted by NPS economists, reveals $23.9 billion of direct spending by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. Nationally, this visitor spending supported 378,400 jobs, 314,600 of which are found in gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.  

As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $9 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector had the second greatest effects, with $4.6 billion in economic output nationally. 

Report authors also produced an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added and output effects by sector for national, state and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: Visitor Spending Effects – Economic Contributions of National Park Visitor Spending – Social Science ( 

To learn more about national parks in Virginia and how NPS works with Virginia communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment and provide outdoor recreation,

go to Virginia (U.S. National Park Service) ( 



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