Tourist activity generated $11.13 million in Scott County in 2015, according to a newly-released study by the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association.
That number reflects money that was generated by direct tourism spending, according to a tourism economic fact sheet that was presented by the Tennessee Department of Tourism last week. It is up from $10.83 million in 2014.
The numbers are based on the most recent year for which economic figures are available.
According to the Hospitality & Tourism Association's report, tourism spending has increased in Scott County each year for the past seven years, and is up 17.5 percent since 2009.
Specifically, the report indicated that tourist activity in Scott County generated $1.61 million in worker income and paychecks in 2015, created $670,000 in local tax revenues and $630,000 in state tax revenues, and generated 70 jobs.
On average, tourist activity in Scott County generated $3,562 per day in state and local taxes, created $1,836 per day in local tax revenues, and generated $4,411 per day in worker paychecks, the report stated.
The report, which was prepared by Dr. Steve Morse, an economist at Western Carolina University, concluded that the average Scott County household would be responsible for $132 in additional taxes to replace the taxes that are generated by tourist spending.
That report comes on the heels of a report from the National Park Service that concluded visitors to the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area created over $20 million in economic benefits for communities surrounding the park in 2016.
The report, released by BSF superintendent Niki Nicholas, found that 684,715 visitors to the national park in 2016 spent $20,763,300 in communities near the park, supporting a total of 282 jobs, for a cumulative impact of $22.3 million.
"Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," Nicholas said. "We are delighted to share this place and the experiences it provides."
Studies have long concluded that tourism is a major economic driver on a national scale, returning $10 for every $1 invested into the National Park Service.
"It's a big factor in our local economy as well," Nicholas said. "We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."
The NPS's peer-reviewed report was prepared by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.
Specifically, most park visitor spending in the BSF region was for lodging, at 31.2 percent, followed by 27.2 percent for food and beverages, 11.7 percent for oil and gas, 10.2 percent for admissions and fees, 9.7 percent for souvenirs and other expenses, 7.4 percent for local transportation and 2.5 percent for camping fees.