Outdoor recreation brings $887 billion to U.S. economy, OIA says

Outdoor Industry Association releases 2017 recreation economy report
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The latest Outdoor Recreation Economy Report is out, and the news is good: With the addition of seven more outdoor activities, recreation spending is now pegged at $887 billion each year.

Outdoor Recreation Economy

Graph: Outdoor Industry Association

WASHINGTON, D.C.—For years, the outdoor industry has been telling elected officials that their businesses are part of a growing $646 billion economy. Starting today, they’ll use a number that packs a whole lot more punch.

By the latest measurements, outdoor recreation contributes a whopping $887 billion to the U.S. economy every year. Since the last report, released in 2012, the Outdoor Industry Association has broadened the definition of “outdoor recreation” to include seven new activities: sailing, SCUBA diving, surfing, skateboarding, mountaineering, horseback riding, and running three or more miles on a trail.

OIA released its latest Outdoor Recreation Economy report early this morning at the Press Club in Washington, D.C., kicking off its annual Capitol Summit lobbying event.
Much of the $887 billion figure isn’t spent on gear, but on the entire outdoor experience. Many outdoorists will fly to another part of the country for a backpacking trip, for example, so they’re spending money locally in the communities they visit along the way, on food supplies, lodging, and transportation.

In reality, the total amount spent on outdoor recreation in the United States could be even higher; that $887 billion number does not include by international visitors who come here for recreation purposes.

Among the revelations about how outdoor recreation ranks as a priority for Americans:
As a country, we spend more money on trail sports gear ($20 billion) than on home entertainment ($18 billion); more on water sports gear ($14 billion) than on movie tickets ($11 billion); and more on cycling and skateboarding ($97 billion) than on video games ($61 billion).

Outdoor recreation activities

Graph: Outdoor Industry Association

All of this spending results in 7.6 million American jobs, $65 billion in federal tax revenue, and $59 billion in state tax revenue, the report says.

And it’s nearly three times the amount consumers spend on gasoline and fuels.

Related

Outdoor Industry Association Releases The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report

Outdoor Industry Association Releases The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report Thriving outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 7.6 million American jobs WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 25, 2017 – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today ...read more

Eddie Bauer’s custom MicroTherm StormDown jacket starts at $249 and offers more than a million possible color combinations. Photo courtesy of Eddie Bauer.

Custom apparel, though risky, can bring great success, brand recognition

Balancing customers' options with production costs is key to implementing a successful custom program, based on interviews with several brands that have dabbled in the field. It sounds risky to give customers a designer's paintbrush for the day to choose their own colors for a ...read more

Two people clinking red mugs in yosemite

Federal report measures outdoor industry economy at $412 billion

We all know that the outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse. And on Thursday, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recognized that too. A final report shows that it accounts for 2.2 percent ($412 billion) of the 2016 U.S. Gross Domestic Product. The final report ...read more

Sports Authority will close at least 140 stores. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Big box bust: Fall will be painful for specialty outdoor retail, experts say

Winter 2014/2015 was a great season. Huge storms and record-breaking cold were a boon for outdoor stores that sold massive amounts of gear and apparel for snow sports and cold weather. But the season also gave a dangerous amount of confidence to big-box chains that over-ordered ...read more

Photo: Wikimedia commons

These Congressmen want you to know they care about outdoor recreation

In a win for the industry, the House and Senate establish outdoor recreation caucuses. Both the House and Senate have established the first-ever caucuses for outdoor recreation. The Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus was established by Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) and Sen. Martin ...read more

Giro is one of four BRG Sports companies Vista Outdoor will acquire. Photo courtesy of Giro.

Vista Outdoor to acquire BRG Sports’ outdoor brands for $400 million

Vista Outdoor Inc. announced Thursday morning that it will buy BRG Sports’ Action Sports division for $400 million, taking Bell, Giro, C-Preme and Blackburn. BRG Sports will maintain ownership of football helmet brand Riddell. Under the agreement, Vista Outdoor will also ...read more

John Riggins, second from left, closed his shop on Black Friday and went hiking instead. He saw at least a dozen of his customers on the trail. Photo courtesy of John Riggins.

From the Trenches: New Ohio shop says beware of preseason incentives

John Riggins and his son opened True Heights Equipment Outfitter in Beavercreek, Ohio about two and a half years ago. We talked with him about his biggest challenges as a new retailer and what makes it all worth it. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first year, ...read more

Bears Ears National Monument

Conservation Alliance says Outdoor Retailer is the best place to organize

The Conservation Alliance says it will continue to attend Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City this summer. Amid calls to boycott Utah and, subsequently, this summer's Outdoor Retailer trade show, the Conservation Alliance announced Friday afternoon that it planned to stay put. ...read more

Outdoor Industry Applauds the Administration’s Vision to Build a Healthy, Balanced Economy and Engage Youth in the Outdoors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contacts: Kate Fielder Starview Strategies kate@starviewstrategies.com (435) 640-6110 (Washington, D.C.) October 31, 2013 – Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) and The Outdoor Foundation applaud Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for her vision ...read more