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PHOENIX -- Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park spent $454 million in communities near the park in 2012, a report said.

The spending by more than 4.4 million visitors supports more than 6,000 jobs in the area.

"Grand Canyon is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides, and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy- returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service- and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

In total, about 283 million visitors to national parks spent $14.7 billion within 60 miles of the park, supporting 243,000 jobs. The national parks led to a cumulative economic benefit of $26.75 billion in 2012.

KTAR Newsroom,

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