Gettysburg tourism creates $95 million in economic benefits

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new report shows visitors spent millions in 2015 in areas around Gettysburg National Military Park. The report showed the money spent by visitors supported almost a 1,000 jobs and created $95 million in economic benefits.

Each year, the National Park Service releases a study regarding the total economic impact of national parks.

“It’s a great place to be because people are really excited to get here,” Katie Lawhon, the park’s senior advisor said. “There’s a lot of energy at Gettysburg and so far in the first three months of 2016, visitation has been even higher than 2015.”

The report states that for every $1 of federal investment, $10 is returned to the local communities. The money is used to maintain the battlefield, museums, and create new programs. For tourists, it shows.

“We grow up knowing about Gettysburg, but actually getting to see it, it’s actually really amazing and far more than I expected,” said Nancy Walker, a visitor from North Carolina.

According to the report, most of the money was spent on lodging, which means most visitors are staying more than a day.

“Anytime people need the hotel room, they also need meals, they usually need to gas up their car, they want the souvenirs, so it is a really important role the National Park has in the local business community,” Lawhon said.

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