(LOG NEWS SERVICE) — A recent federal government analysis has confirmed what recreational boating organizations have said for years – outdoor recreation, which includes recreational boating, is big business and an important contributor to the nation’s economy.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, in a report released in February, stated outdoor recreation accounted for 2.0 percent ($373.7 billion) of current dollar gross domestic product in 2016. In addition, they said, the outdoor recreation economy grew 3.8 percent in 2016, compared to a growth of 2.8 percent in the overall economy.
Boating and fishing activities were $38.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.0 percent from the previous year.
“Businesses need the right data to help them hire, invest and grown,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. “The public will no doubt be surprised at the economic importance of this industry as we release prototype statistics measuring the impact of activities like boating, fishing, RVing, hunting, camping, hiking and more.”
The outdoor recreation industry, according to the report, employed 4.28 million people in 2016, up 2.9 percent in a year and up 6.5 percent from 2012.
Compensation for those employees totaled $203.5 billion, a 5.2 percent increase from the previous year and up 18.5 percent from 2012.
“Having a strong industry behind you is important when working in the halls of government,” David Kennedy, manager of Boat U.S. government affairs, said. “It can ultimately influence legislation that makes boating better, such as improving boating access by funding new launch ramps, providing budgets to maintain boating infrastructure or navigation aids, improving fishing habitat and helping support boating safety efforts.”
The conventional definition of outdoor recreation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, includes “all recreational activities undertaken for pleasure that generally involve some level of intentional physical exertion and occur in nature-based environments outdoors.”
In short the broad definition includes “all recreational activities undertaken for pleasure that occur outdoors.”
A final outdoor recreation satellite account report is scheduled for publication this fall.