MIAMI: Outdoor recreation bigger contributor to GDP than mining or agriculture

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NMMA president Thom Dammrich 

NMMA president Thom Dammrich 

MIAMI — Outdoor recreations account for 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, which is larger than mining or agriculture, National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said today at the Miami International Boat Show innovation breakfast.

That is according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Dammrich said.

“Last year’s show contributed $854 million of economic activity to south Florida,” Dammrich said. “That’s equivalent of two and a half Super Bowls.”

The overall GDP has grown around 2.5 percent two out of the last three quarters, Dammrich said. New home sales are strong, which is good news for the industry since new boat sales track in line with housing.

“Many economists will say we’re near full employment and I think we see that as we go to hire people,” Dammrich said. “It appears that all the stars are aligning and tailwinds are behind us.”

In Washington D.C., there is no political divide when it comes to fishing and boating, Dammrich said.

But, “in spite of all the good work that’s been done, there’s still more that needs to be done,” he said.

Dammrich encouraged people to attend the American Boating Congress in May to continue to advocate for issues important to the marine industry and said the new data will help accomplish this.