RVing Fuels $1 Trillion Outdoor Rec Economy

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For the first time since the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) began collecting outdoor recreation economy data in 2017, the outdoor recreation economy topped a total gross output of $1 trillion.

The BEA reported Friday the 2022 outdoor recreation economy’s total gross output totaled $1.1 trillion. The amount accounts for 2.2% of the country’s gross domestic product.

BEA found the outdoor recreation industry accounts for 5 million jobs, more than 3% of all U.S. employment.

Leading the $1.1 trillion economic output is the RVing segment.

RVing was the top outdoor recreation segment by gross output in 2022, totaling $70.76 billion. Boating and fishing ranked second at $60.86 billion, 14% lower than RVing.

BEA revisions to 2021 data found RVing actually surpassed boating and fishing for the first time in 2021.

Originally, BEA reported 2021 gross output of $50.4 billion for boating and fishing and $48.17 billion for RVing. Revisions this year put boating and fishing at $58.48 billion and RVing at $63.77 billion.

Jason Rano, RVIA’s vice president of government affairs, said, “This is really exciting to see this data affirm the valuable role of RVing in the U.S. economy.”

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable President Jessica Turner said the data showed the outdoor recreation industry is a necessity for healthy people, places and economies.

“If there is one thing to take away from today’s BEA presentation it is this: the state of the outdoor recreation economy is strong to the tune of over a trillion dollars in economic output,” Turner said. “It shows that sustained investment in outdoor recreation and protection of our shared public lands and waters pays huge dividends for our local and national economies and quality of life.”

The outdoor recreation economy is twice as large as the agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting industry, BEA reported.

RVDA President Phil Ingrassia said the report showed outdoor recreation’s wide-ranging state and federal impact.

He said, “Outdoor recreation businesses, including RV dealerships, RV parks and campgrounds, and other recreational activities can spur economic growth in both metropolitan and rural areas of the country.”

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