VOBA report elevates importance of outdoor recreation for local economies
Outdoor recreation is a large and growing employer in the United States, providing jobs for nearly 5.2 million people who earn more than $ 226.3 billion.
Outdoor recreation contributes $ 459.8 billion to gross domestic product (three times the size of the airline industry).
Vermont Business Magazine According to a report released this week by the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA) and the State Outdoor Business Alliance Network (SOBAN), the positive economic impacts of outdoor and outdoor recreation activities will be a major driver. of post-pandemic recovery.
Entitled “Inspiring the Future Economy of Outdoor Recreation,” the report is a deep dive into the many local economic benefits of outdoor recreation, as well as a call to action for continued investment in the outdoor sector. air.
“During the pandemic, participation in outdoor recreation increased dramatically, despite the challenges felt around the world with the production, distribution and retention of the workforce. As the world recovers from this pandemic, outdoor recreation will continue to grow and drive recovery. Communities will return to hosting large sporting gatherings such as bike, track and ski races. These opportunities will bring back lost jobs and significant income for local businesses, ”the report said.
Led by representatives from VOBA and 23 other state-owned outdoor enterprise alliances, SOBAN is a network of business organizations founded in 2019 to share knowledge, opportunities and best practices to strengthen commerce, infrastructures and participation in the outdoors.
“Downtowns and villages that were positioned as outdoor recreation destinations before the pandemic have been more successful in economic recovery, with people seeking communities with a high quality of life for remote work or relocation,” said Kelly Ault, executive director of the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance. “As the diverse outdoor sector continues to grow, it is recognized and invested as a priority economic development strategy for Vermont. “
Nationally, in 2019, outdoor recreation employed nearly 5.2 million people in 2019, who earned more than $ 226.3 billion. By comparison, outdoor recreation employs roughly the same number of people as those employed in hospitals across the country, and double the number of people employed in agriculture. In Vermont, outdoor recreation contributed 5.2% in 2019 to the state’s GDP, the second highest in the country, creating 20,000 jobs.
The main additional findings of the SOBAN report include:
The community benefits of outdoor recreation include lower health care costs and an increased ability to attract talent and new businesses.
The benefits of outdoor recreation extend far beyond jobs and income. Projects that support outdoor recreation can also support other community priorities, from equity to transportation alternatives to improving resilience to natural disasters.
Investments in outdoor recreation, such as workforce development and infrastructure, can pay off. The report notes that infrastructure such as trails, fishing access, and boat launches drive visitor spending that directly supports many types of jobs, businesses and local governments.
With increasing participation in the outdoors during the pandemic, the outdoor recreation industry will be a key part of rebuilding local economies.
The SOBAN Report was produced by Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group with support from 11 SOBAN organizations, the REI Foundation, the Outdoor Industry Association, and the Outdoor Foundation to inspire pathways for the future of our outdoor recreation economy.
ABOUT THE STATE TRADE ALLIANCE NETWORK: The State Outdoor Business Alliance Network (SOBAN) is made up of 24 state alliances of outdoor businesses and two industry groups in British Columbia, working to advance a vision for the U.S. outdoor recreation economy. which includes strong economies, thriving outdoor spaces, and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone. SOBAN harnesses the interconnected potential of trade, infrastructure and equitable participation. For more information, visit: www.soban.org
ABOUT VERMONT OUTDOOR BUSINESS ALLIANCE: The Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance is a national outdoor recreation business organization dedicated to strengthening, expanding, attracting and retaining businesses in the outdoor recreation economy in Vermont. VOBA strives to educate Vermonters about outdoor recreation and Vermont outdoor recreation businesses on business development so that Vermont can continue to be a vibrant place to work, live and play. To learn more about the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance, visit www.vermontoutdoorbusinessalliance.org