Report: Outdoor recreation adds $13.6B to state economy

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Outdoor recreation contributed $13.64 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy in 2021, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) statistics, and comprises 1.6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

This gives Pennsylvania the sixth-largest outdoor recreation economy in the United States.

The sector’s contribution to the state economy is 22 percent higher than in 2020. Statewide, the sector accounts for 152,000 jobs, 4 percent more than in 2020.

Recreational vehicle camping makes up the greatest contribution at more than $700 million, followed by boating and fishing at $555 million; hunting, shooting, and trapping at $354 million; and ATV and motorcycle riding at $304 million.

“Outdoor recreation continues to be a thriving and significant industry within the commonwealth, and this data helps us better understand what we are doing well while also providing guidance on where we can grow this industry for its own sake and to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians,” Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Nathan Reigner said. “Unlike economic development through other industries, development through outdoor recreation also stimulates physical health, mental well-being, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability.”

Outdoor recreation supported other industries. Travel and tourism contributed nearly $4 billion in economic activity.

Nationally, outdoor recreation generated $862 billion in economic output.