KNOXVILLE (AP) - Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent nearly $1 billion in nearby communities last year.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports an analysis conducted by U.S. government economists shows the spending in 2017 supported almost 14,000 local jobs and benefited communities within 60 miles (95 kilometers) of the mountains.

The overview put together by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service notes more than 11 million people visited the parks last year and about 35 percent of their spending was on lodging and camping. It says more than 330 million visitors spent about $18 billion in the nearby communities. The spending supported more than 300,000 jobs nationally and gave a nearly $36 billion boost to the U.S. economy.

Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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