Outdoor Recreation Economy

Outdoor Recreation Economy

“More than three out of four Americans participate in outdoor recreation each year.  Americans spend money, create jobs, and support local communities when they get outdoors.  Simple healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, or wildlife viewing generate enormous economic power and fuel a far-reaching ripple effect that touches many of the nation’s economic sectors.” Source: The Active Outdoor Recreation Economy: A $730 Billion Annual Contribution to the U.S. Economy (Fall 2006) 

Americans now spend more money each year on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets and fees ($51 billion).

All across America, states are building sustainable, growing economies around destination trails. The prime example is the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage through western Maryland and Pennsylvania, which generates $40 million in direct spending by trail tourists each year, single-handedly sustaining small communities and sparking new commercial activity in large ones.

Below are a number of economic impact studies based on data and forecasting techniques that indicate trails and blueways offer a significant return on investment through property value increases, tourism, business investment, alternative transportation benefits and health benefits. We now know that all trails will help our communities be better places to live and work, while creating new economic activity for our communities for years to come.

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