Virginia group touts boating’s economic impact

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The Virginia Marine Trades Association released a study showing that recreational boaters spend nearly $1.3 billion annually on boating in the commonwealth.

More than 40 percent of those dollars are spent on trip-related activity, such as gas for the boat, fuel, lodging and meals at local restaurants. All of this money spent on enjoying Virginia’s waterways mean jobs for thousands of Virginians, the group said.

The recreational boating industry directly employs nearly 5,000 Virginians and contributes to another 4,000 jobs related to boating. This means that recreational boating supports nearly 9,000 jobs in Virginia.

The Virginia trade group requested the study. The research was completed by Tom Murray at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences with the College of William and Mary.

“The main reason VMTA requested this study was to quantify the economic impact the industry has in the commonwealth,” Murray said in a statement. “We expected that the impacts were large, and the study confirms those expectations. As in most studies such as this we strive to be conservative in the various underlying assumptions, so these results may be considered conservative estimates.”

Click here for the release.