NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A recent report shows that more than 8 million visitors to national parks in Tennessee spent $541 million in 2012.
The most recent figures from the National Park Service show the hundreds of millions of dollars supported nearly 8,000 jobs in the state.
Nationally, the report shows more than $15 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.
The spending supported 243,000 jobs and pumped about $27 billion into the U.S. economy.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park accounted for 9.6 million visitors who spent $741 million in communities near the park in 2012, with more than half of the visits attributed to Tennessee and the remainder to North Carolina.
To learn more about national parks in Tennessee, go to www.nps.gov/tennessee .