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Outdoor recreation industry sees record-breaking year, generating $862 billion in economic impact

by National Marine Manufacturers Association 11 Nov 09:43 PST
Outdoor recreation industry sees record-breaking year, generating $862 billion in economic impact © National Marine Manufacturers Association

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released economic data yesterday for 2021, exhibiting outdoor recreation's powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy. These new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output, with recreational boating and fishing the number one contributor to the outdoor recreation economy and the largest recreational activity in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

The outdoor recreation economy came back stronger than ever after the Covid pandemic and remains a steady source of strength nationally and a booming job creator locally, employing 4.5 million Americans and accounting for 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP.

"Last year proved to be a year like no other for the outdoor recreation industry, including boating and fishing which once again carries the near trillion-dollar outdoor recreation economy. This data underscores the fact that boating and time spent on our nation's waterways is a favorite American pastime being passed down among generations," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and current Board Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). "Since 2020, the recreational boating and fishing industry and outdoor recreation economy at-large has led a national recovery, welcoming millions of families to experience the considerable health benefits of the great outdoors while being a vital economic contributor and job creator."

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