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Visits to Md. national parks down slightly

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service says 6.6 million people visited national parks in Maryland in 2013.

Those tourists spent $212 million, supporting 2,689 jobs in the state.

Those numbers are all down slightly from 2012, when about 40,000 more people visited Maryland parks, spent $4.5 million more and supported about 80 more jobs. Park visits and spending nationwide were also down slightly.

Maryland’s national parks include Antietam National Battlefield, Assateague Island National Seashore and the Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, among others.

Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, acting regional director for the National Park Service, says national park tourism is a big factor in Maryland’s economy.