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Boating and fishing powered outdoor recreation economy in 2020

by National Marine Manufacturers Association 11 Nov 07:55 PST

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its 2020 report on outdoor recreation's powerful and positive economic impact, which confirmed that boating and fishing remain the number one contributor to this critical sector of the U.S. economy.

The new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $689 billion in economic output, supports 4.3 million American jobs, and comprises 3 percent of all U.S. employees. The report, a snapshot in time of a challenging and uncertain year, includes national and state level data.

In 2020, conventional outdoor recreation activities (such as bicycling, boating, hiking, hunting, etc.) accounted for 37.4 percent of U.S. outdoor recreation value added, up from 30.6 percent in 2019. This increase was due to higher spending on boating and fishing, as well as RVing. Boating and fishing was the largest conventional activity for the nation - up nearly 30 percent compared to 2019 - as well as the largest conventional activity in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

"Americans have faced a number of challenges and uncertainty since the onset of the Covid pandemic, but one thing is certain - recreational boating and fishing provided a much-needed outlet for millions of Americans, and continues to be a major economic driver," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. "Looking ahead, we expect consumer interest and sales to remain strong through 2021 and beyond as Americans continue to discover the benefits and joys of being on the water."

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