The new Outdoor Industry Association Economic Impact numbers for 2017 are out and the full report can be found here: https://outdoorindustry.org/resource/2017-outdoor-recreation-economy-report/.
It’s a fascinating look at how the outdoor recreation industry is a major player in our economy and examines current trends. Here’s some numbers for just trail-related sports (Day Hiking, Backpacking, Rock or Ice Climbing, Running 3+miles, Horseback Riding, Mountaineering):
TRAIL SPORTS (non-motorized)
$25,342,546,672 – Gear, Accessories and Vehicles
$176,144,141,213 – Trip Related
$201,486,687,885 – Total Expenditures
“From the smallest rural towns to the most densely populated cities, outdoor recreation makes America stronger,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “This report makes clear that the outdoor recreation economy is not only thriving, but a powerful economic force that embodies the American spirit.
Public lands and waters are the foundation of this powerful economic force. By investing in and protecting America’s public lands and waters, we invest in our future and the continued well-being of America. Together, we can thrive outside.”
I am looking forward to using the new data in the report in my presentations on economic benefits of trails and the release of the state-specific data later this year. During my five years as the Arizona Trail Association’s Gateway Community Liaison, I saw firsthand the economic changes that small towns like Superior, Page and Pine, Arizona have had happen as a result of increased recreation. If you’re interested in booking a speaking engagement on economic benefits of trails for your organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.