Report: Recreational boaters contribute $10 billion to Canada economy

Revenue generated $5.6 billion in GDP, supported nearly 75,000 jobs, according to report.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada released a new study outlining the economic impact of recreational boating in Canada. Recreational boating industry in Canada resulted in revenues estimated at $10 billion, according to the May 9 report. The revenues reportedly generated $5.6 billion in GDP and supported nearly 75,000 jobs throughout the country.

“This new economic impact data reinforces the importance of recreational boating in Canada and the significant contribution our industry makes to the Canadian economy,” Sara Anghel, executive director of NMMA Canada, said. “Boating is a favorite pastime of millions of Canadians and the 8.6 million boats on the water in Canada stimulate jobs, revenue and taxes.”

The study’s release coincides with the 5th annual Recreational Boating Day on the Hill in Ottawa. Day on the Hill is a gathering of leaders from all sectors of the Canadian recreational boating industry on Parliament Hill to advocate on behalf of the industry’s 4,792 Canadian marine companies. The annual legislative event provides the marine industry an opportunity to communicate with parliamentarians on key issues impacting recreational boating.

“Findings from this study provide vital boating data we can deliver directly to Parliamentarians to illustrate the important role recreational boating plays in the Canadian economy, and lends further support to our industry efforts to protect and grow recreational boating in Canada,” Anghel stated.

Highlights from the study include:

  • The core recreational boating industry was directly and indirectly responsible for $10 billion in revenues in 2016, a 12.4 percent increase from 2012
  • Those revenues contributed $5.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2016, a 12 percent increase from 2012
  • The core recreational boating industry supports approximately 75,000 jobs, generating $2.9 billion in annual salaries and wages, an 11.5 percent increase from 2012
  • The economic activity supported by the core recreational boating industry contributes $868 million in annual taxes and subsidies to Canada’s economy, a 12.1 percent increase from 2012
  • 43 percent of Canadians went boating in 2016
  • Canadians own an estimated 8.6 million boats.

“The Economic Impact of Recreational Boating in Canada: 2016” defines the core recreational boating industry as boat and accessory manufacturers, boat and accessory dealers, marina operators, repair and maintenance shops, schools and boat clubs, and other related companies.

The study was conducted by Hickling Arthurs Low on behalf of NMMA Canada and in cooperation with the recreational boating industry’s national marketing program, Discover Boating Canada and Canada’s regional marine trade associations.

“NMMA is a trusted source for recreational boating statistics and we hope our members and industry stakeholders will find the valuable insights in this new economic impact study helpful to their businesses,” Anghel added.

The complete study is now available for NMMA members to download at and

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