Outside recreation contributes almost $60 billion in Pa., new research says


Outdoor recreation, from biking and snow sports to camping and hiking to hunting and fishing, generated almost $59 billion in economic activity in Pennsylvania in 2020, according to a study commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP).

A 26 percent increase from four years earlier, including $20 billion in salaries and wages for more than 430,000 jobs, a level of employment in outdoor activities that is up 10 percent from 2016.

Taxes on outdoor spending added more than $6.5 to federal, state, and local government revenues by more than $6.5, found researchers from Southwick Associates, a market research and economics firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and wildlife markets Specializing in outdoor recreation.

“The power of spending on outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania is undeniable, especially since hunting, fishing and boating have been a real lifeline for so many during the pandemic,” said Alexandra Kozak, field service manager for TRCP in Pennsylvania.

“Conservation of our natural resources is critical for this to continue. That’s why our policymakers should prioritize legislation that helps invest in better habitats, cleaner water and stronger outdoor recreation businesses.”

The TRCP and its partners plan to highlight the strength of the outdoor recreation economy when advocating investments in Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener III program, a Clean Streams Fund and other dedicated conservation funds.

By category, economic impact was Trail Sports, $15,205,278,000; Camping, $14,033,823,000; Water Sports, $7,142,105,000; Cycling, $6,104,078,000; Snow Sports, $5,260,280,000; Motorcycling, $3,939,614,000; Off-road, $2,962,860,000; Hunting, $2,125,611,000 (including $1,319,241,000 for deer hunting); Fishing, $1,043,934,000; and Wildlife Viewing, $1,042,109,000.

Jobs supported by this economic activity are cycling, 45,969; trail sports, 114,708; Camping, 104,960; water sports, 53,747; snow sports, 41,939; motorcycling, 26,540; off-road, 20,085; hunting, 13,335; fishing, 8,215; and wildlife sightings, 8,030.

For more information on the report, visit the Estimating the Economic Contributions of Outdoor Recreation in Pennsylvania website.

Founded in 2002, the TRCP is the largest coalition of conservation organizations in the country, uniting and amplifying the voices of athletes by bringing together hunting and fishing groups, conservation organizations and outdoor businesses around a common goal.

Contact Marcus Schneck at [email protected]