Photo courtesy Va. State Parks
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP)- A study by Virginia Tech has found that state parks in Virginia contributed about $267 million to the economy in 2018.
Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business had focused on the economic impact of visitors to the state’s 38 parks.
The study found the economic activity supported nearly 4,000 jobs in Virginia. It was also responsible for about $133.2 million in wages and salary income in 2018.
The report looked at money spent on things such as hotels, campgrounds and restaurants.
“The report documents what we’ve known for years: state parks are an economic engine in local communities and they provide an extraordinary return on investment for Virginia taxpayers,” said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde Cristman. “Last year, out-of-state visitors spent around $113 million as the result of our state park system – an incredible return on only $18.9 million in general fund appropriations.”
Tim Kennell, president of the Virginia Association For Parks, said he hopes the report will shore up support for more funding for the parks.