A report released this week by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said that outdoor recreation contributes US$673bn to the US economy. That is more than other sectors like agriculture, petroleum and coal and computer and electronics products.

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), a group of industry associations that includes the NMMA and MRAA, said the first-ever report on outdoor recreation was an important step in recognising outdoor recreation as a significant economic contributor to the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Outdoor recreation has a far-reaching positive impact across the US and our economy,” says Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and NMMA president. “As an industry, we are proud to generate millions of American jobs, and we are grateful that BEA and the Department of Commerce have decided to recognise that.”

The BEA’s initial findings report that outdoor recreation makes up 2% of the US GDP. More importantly, the outdoor recreation industry’s GDP has increased an average of 4.4% since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6% average increase in the overall US GDP.