For the first time ever, the federal government has formally acknowledged the tremendous economic contribution of recreation boating and fishing.
In early February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recognized the outdoor recreation industry as a significant economic contributor to the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Its report found that boating and fishing contributed $38.2 billion to the US economy in 2016.
“Today's report affirms what those of us in the outdoor community already know – outdoor recreation has a far-reaching positive impact across the U.S. and our economy,” said Thom Dammrich, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “As an industry, we are proud to generate millions of American jobs and be a driving economic force from coast to coast, and we are grateful that BEA and the Department of Commerce have decided to recognize that. This report is further evidence of the need for sound public policy that encourages continued growth in the outdoor recreation industry.”
In addition to reporting on the outdoor recreation industry's annual gross output, the BEA's initial findings report that outdoor recreation makes up 2.0 percent of the U.S. GDP. More importantly, the outdoor recreation industry's GDP has increased an average of 4.4 percent since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6 percent average increase in the overall US GDP.