$15 billion impact: Michigan’s water-based recreation is a huge economic contributor

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The Michigan Port Collaborative, a partner with the Michigan Boating Industries Association, released a report that shows the state’s port and harbors have a $19.7 billion economic impact and that $15.4 billion of that was produced by water-based tourism and recreation.

A key finding of the study was that tourism and recreation impacts are nearly four times greater than commercial impacts. It also found that the ports and harbors support approximately 124,892 full-time equivalent jobs around the state. Michigan and its municipalities collected an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue from this labor source in 2017 and the federal government received $1.3 billion.

“We thank the MI Port Collaborative for investing in this important study highlighting the significant impact of Michigan’s ports, tourism and recreation, including boating,” Nicki Polan, MBIA executive director, said in a statement. “The impact of our industry in the state is often underestimated and seen as ‘seasonal.’ This report is proof our industry is great and is a large contributor to our state and federal economy.”