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Smokies bring $818 million in tourist spending

By news admin

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A National Park Service analysis shows visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $818 million in communities surrounding the Smokies.

The figure from calendar year 2012 is based on more than 9 million visitors coming to the forested park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

The report says the visitor spending supported nearly 12,000 area jobs.

Smokies Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said tourism driven by the park has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee and western North Carolina.

The 500,000-acre park is the most visited of the national parks.