A new report issued by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) shows that outdoor recreation is a major economic driver in the United States—and one that has grown throughout the recession. According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy report, more than 140 million Americans engage in outdoor activities each year, directly delivering $646 billion to the economy and supporting 6.1 million domestic jobs.
Of that $646 billion total, American hunters contributed well over $23 billion. No figures were available on the number of people who crossed over into multiple activities the study considered. But it is safe to assume that typical hunters also spend significantly on fishing, hiking, camping, off-roading, etc.
This new study reinforces what the outdoor industry has known for a long time—outdoor recreation is a larger and more critical sector of the American economy than most people realize.
Highlights from the Recreation Economy Report
The outdoor recreation economy is responsible for:
• 6.1 million direct American jobs
• $646 billion in direct consumer spending
• $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue
• $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue
“During a time when some American industries are struggling, we are seeing solid growth,” said Will Manzer, CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports and chair of the OIA Board of Directors. “Since 2005, the outdoor recreation economy has grown approximately 5 percent annually. In fact, outdoor recreation supports a significant number of jobs, on par with—or, in some cases, more than—other sizeable American industries.”
America is recognized globally as the leader in outdoor recreation. CEOs from leading outdoor recreation companies are calling on policymakers to take action to promote this critical component of the American economy.
“As a horizontal industry in a vertical nation, outdoor recreation is often overlooked,” said Manzer. “However, outdoor recreation directly fuels major sectors of the American economy like manufacturing, hospitality and transportation. Just like any other sector of the U.S. economy, outdoor recreation needs support to continue to thrive.”
“This is the definition of a win-win scenario,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “In this country today, we’re battling an economic recession, a healthcare crisis, and we’re trying to create safe and sustainable places for families to live. The outdoor industry provides solutions for all of this. We need to come up with a strategy to protect the industry, its jobs and our customers.”
Read the full report: The Outdoor Recreation Economy