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Gazette Premium Content Report: 9.6 million people visited Smoky Mountains

Associated Press Updated: March 4, 2014 at 5:00 am

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A report from the National Park Service says more than 9.6 million visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $741 million in communities near the park in 2012.

A news release from the park service says the spending supported 10,959 jobs in the local area.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists along with the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent); hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts (27 percent); and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

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