BEA: Outside recreation financial system contributes $three.9B to CT’s GDP

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Connecticut’s outdoor recreation economy — which includes activities like biking, boating, gardening and tourism — contributes $3.9 billion to the state’s GDP and employs more than 44,000 people, according to a new report from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Overall, the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 1.3% of Connecticut’s current dollar GDP in 2021, according to the BEA analysis.

Meanwhile, employment in the state’s outdoor recreation economy grew 13.1% to 44,065 from 2020-2021. That resulted in $2 billion in compensation for outdoor recreation.

Nationally, the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 1.9% ($454 billion) of current GDP in 2021 in US dollars and employs 4.5 million people.

According to the BEA, outdoor recreational activities fall into three general categories: conventional activities such as biking, boating, hiking, and hunting; other activities such as gardening and outdoor concerts; and supporting activities such as construction, travel and tourism, local travel and government spending.

In 2021, conventional outdoor recreation accounted for 35.1% of the value added of US outdoor recreation, compared to 40.1% in 2020.

Other outdoor leisure activities accounted for 17.6% of value added in 2021, compared to 17.5% in 2020.

Support activities accounted for the remaining 47.3% of value added in 2021, compared to 42.4% in 2020.

Supportive activities, particularly travel and tourism, rebounded in 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions eased and consumers traveled more and spending on transportation, hotels and restaurants increased, BEA said.