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Southwick Associates Powers Research Behind OIA’s “Outdoor Recreation Economy Report”

Fernandina Beach, Florida / May 4, 2017

Outdoor recreation is one of our nation’s largest economic drivers supplying jobs and revenue for thousands of metropolitan and largely rural communities across America. Just how big is outdoor recreation? It generates more than $887 billion in annual consumer spending and supports more than 7.6 million jobs. These and many more findings of this vast industry were recently released in the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) “The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report.”  Southwick Associates, the leading market research, and economics firm in the outdoor industry conducted the research and analysis for the report.

OIA serves more than 1,200 manufacturers, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers focused on outdoor recreation. The outdoor recreation economy covers a myriad of popular activities including camping, trail sports, bicycling, fishing, hunting, off-roading, water sports, wildlife viewing, snow sports and more.

Thousands come to Florida in hopes of catching something that looks like this. Each so determined angler spends a lot of dollars on his or her visit. If you add thousands who come… cha-ching and $ are powerful influencers with politicians. Image courtesy of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (click on the image to join BTT).

Key findings of the report include:

Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic sector. At $887 billion spent annually, it is larger than education ($278 billion), gas and fuels ($304billion), household utilities ($313 billion) motor vehicles and parts ($465 billion) and pharmaceuticals ($466 billion).

Supporting 7.6 million jobs, outdoor recreation creates more jobs than real estate, rentals and leasing (2.1 million) and education (3.5 million) combined. It also supports more jobs than the food and beverage industry (4.7 million), finance and insurance (6 million), construction (6.4 million) and computer technology (6.7 million).  

Outdoor recreation generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue a year and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenues.

More American jobs depend on recreational motorcycling and off-roading (867,000) than lawyers in the United States (779,000).

Nearly 331 million people visit U.S. national parks each year that’s nearly one visit for every American.

“The benefits of outdoor recreation far exceed mere numbers, though the numbers are impressive,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “From helping people reduce stress, exercise more and overall improve their health, the tangible benefits of providing an abundant of outdoor activities go far beyond dollars and cents.”

About Southwick Associates

Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm, specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets.  For more than 25 years, Southwick Associates has established a proven record of delivering comprehensive insights and statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers.  Aside from custom market research, Southwick Associates also provides syndicated participation, media consumption and equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their proprietary sportsmen panels.

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