- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - National Park Service officials say the more than 7.3 million people visited Georgia’s national parks in 2012, and the tourism generated an economic benefit of more than $343 million.

In a release, National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin said the parks are a significant economic driver and have returned $10 for every $1 invested on a national level.

National parks in Georgia include the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and others.

National Park Service officials say three parks in the metro Atlanta region saw about 5.8 million visitors who spent about $2.6 million in 2012.

Officials say the state’s national parks have also supported more than 5,200 jobs.

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