REPORT: Outdoor Recreation Has Profound Economic Impact

The outdoor recreation industry accounted for 2 percent of United State’s gross domestic product (GDP) from 2012 to 2016, according to the Department of Commerce. That’s equivalent to $371 billion in spending annually.

The research by the Department of Commerce was commissioned by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel to determine the value of outdoor recreation as part of the GDP.

The research further concluded that motorized spending was the dominant portion of spending for recreational activity.

“Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) representatives were always aware of the strong relationship motorized recreation played in outdoor recreation but even we were surprised at the values established in the Department of Commerce research,” said Don Riggle, president of the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA). “This is welcome information and will be very helpful in undertaking land management decisions on public lands moving forward and confirmed what many in the industry had believed for many years.

“Additionally, this information will be very helpful for communities that are targeting recreational activity to replace tax revenue that has been lost when other industries have moved out of the communities.”

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