Outdoor Recreation Spending Overrides Buying Gas And Cars By Americans
Americans devote more money to enjoying the outdoors than buying gasoline, purchasing pharmaceutical drugs, or owning cars. More than 44 percent of us make outdoor recreation a priority, adding up to an annual economic impact of $646 billion, according to a recent report by the Outdoor Industry Association (see article below). (By comparison, Americans buy $354 billion worth of gas and other fuels).
Outdoor recreation supports 6.1 million jobs and a combined $80 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue. More American jobs depend on trail sports (768,000) than there are lawyers (728,200) in the U.S., according to the report.
If spending patterns reflect values, then Americans care much more about the outdoors than current federal funding reflects, or than anyone gives them credit for.
“The biggest takeaway is that protecting our public lands, waters, and trails is more than just about the land. It’s about preserving and protecting economies, communities, and people whose lives depend on having great places to play outside,” Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Outdoor Industry Association, told TakePart.
Activities quantified in the research include bicycling, camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, snow sports, wildlife viewing, and more.
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Source:huffingtonpost.com; Alison Fairbrother; January 15, 2013.