New study calls outdoor recreation industry the ‘overlooked economic giant’

ST. GEORGE – The Western Governors Association, of which Utah’s Gary Herbert is vice-chair, and five industry groups – Outdoor Industry Association; Motorcycle Industry Council; Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association; Specialty Vehicle Institute of America; and National Marine Manufacturers Association – released a report Sunday on a 2011 survey of the outdoor recreation economic sector.

The activities included in the survey were:  trail sports, snow sports, hunting, off-roading, biking, water sports, wildlife watching, camping, fishing and motorcycle riding.

The report, A Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation, according to the WGA website, marks the first time the non-motorized and motorized recreation industries have joined forces to provide a complete picture of the economic impact and importance of outdoor recreation for the economy.

It calls the outdoor recreation industry “an overlooked economic giant,” reflecting Americans spent an estimated $645.6 billion on outdoor recreation in 2011, third only to spending in financial services and insurance, and outpatient health care. It exceeds by nearly $300 billion, spending in economic sectors of gasoline and fuels ($354 billion), motor vehicles and parts ($340 billion), pharmaceuticals ($331 billion) and household utilities ($309 billion).

The report states that outdoor recreation spending in western states equaled $255.6 billion in 2011, which is nearly 40 percent of the national total; and fueled 2.3 million jobs in the western region in 2011.

Tax revenues generated in 2011 through the outdoor recreation sector for the western states were estimated at $15.41 billion in federal tax receipts and $15.38 billion in state and local tax receipts.

The report promises a commitment from the WGA and its industry partners to develop state-level reports in these areas.

Considering the heightening tensions over public lands, which undoubtedly provide the loci for much of the economic yield illuminated by this report, a Utah- specific study of this nature could incentivize advocates on both sides of the federal vs. state’s rights to lands to up their game.

The full report is here:  SnapshotEconomicImpact-3

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright 2012 St. George News. 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.