Report finds national parks generate $1.37 billion in visitor spending in Washington area

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A new report shows visitors to the national parks in the Washington area spent $1.37 billion in surrounding communities, based in 2011 data.

The National Park Service report released Tuesday is based on an analysis by Michigan State University. The report found there were 44.5 million visitors to national parks in the greater Washington area. Spending by visitors supported more than 17,000 jobs.

According to the report, the National Mall and Memorial Parks generated an economic benefit of more than $910 million. That spending came from about 24.3 million visitors in 2011. Overall, the District of Columbia saw about $1.13 billion in spending by park visitors.

National Parks in Virginia saw about 23.4 million visitors, generating $620 million. Maryland parks counted 6 million visitors and $157 million in spending.