Study details impact of outdoor recreation spending

A new Outdoor Industry Association report says outdoor recreation accounts for $887 billion in consumer spending annually.

A new Outdoor Industry Association report says outdoor recreation is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, accounting for $887 billion in consumer spending annually.

That nearly doubles consumer spending on pharmaceuticals and falls only behind financial services and insurance, outpatient health care and hospital care, the report says.

Outdoor on-the-water recreation — which includes boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and stand-up paddleboarding — generates about $139.9 billion in direct spending, 1,234,876 jobs, $43.8 billion in wages, $10.6 billion in federal taxes and $9.6 billion in state taxes.

The report said spending on outdoor recreation far outpaces other popular activities. For example, water sports gear spending ($14 billion) outpaces movie ticket spending ($11 billion).

“It is critical for NMMA and recreational boating to work collaboratively with OIA and our outdoor partners to impress upon decision makers the economic importance of recreation,” National Marine Manufacturers Association federal and legal affairs vice president Nicole Vasilaros said in a statement.

The Outdoor Industry Association report highlights the strength of the marine industry’s spending, jobs and economic impact, Vasilaros said.

“In 2016, alongside our partners in the outdoors, we are proud to have made significant strides in bringing attention to the impact of outdoor recreation with the signing into law of the bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act, which calls for the federal government to annually measure the contribution of the outdoor industry to our nation’s GDP,” Vasilaros said.

“We look forward to President Trump following through on the REC Act to ensure outdoor recreation is properly counted and will assist policy-makers and regulators to make more informed decisions when it comes to boating and the outdoor recreation.”

Click here for the full report.