Study: Outdoor recreation spending in Pa. sees a boost in 2020 | The Numbers Racket

In 2020, outdoor recreation contributed more than $32B to Pennsylvania’s GDP

By: - May 2, 2022 6:30 am

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Spending on outdoor recreation activities in Pennsylvania is up 26 percent from 2016 levels, according to a new study of outdoor recreation participation and spending in the commonwealth. 

The study, which was conducted by Southwick Associates for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a national hunting, fishing, and conservation nonprofit, also found that statewide outdoor recreation spending totaled $58 billion in 2020. 

“The power of outdoor recreation spending in PA is undeniable, particularly since hunting, fishing, and boating provided a real lifeline to so many during the pandemic,” Alexandra Kozak, Pennsylvania field manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership said in a statement. “Conservation of our natural resources is critical for this to continue. That’s why our decision-makers should prioritize legislation that helps to invest in better habitat, cleaner water, and stronger outdoor recreation businesses.”

Jobs & Economic Contributions

According to the study, more than 415,000 jobs in Pennsylvania were supported by resident and non-resident outdoor recreation activities, excluding hunting and fishing. When fishing and hunting are included, outdoor recreation supports more than 437,000 jobs in the commonwealth. 

In 2020, outdoor recreation contributed more than $32 billion to Pennsylvania’s GDP, and generated more than $6.5 billion in tax revenue at the local, state and federal level, according to the study. 

Hunters in Pennsylvania spent more than $37.8 million in 2019 through their purchases of licenses, tags, permits, and stamps. With more than 945,000 licensed-hunters in the commonwealth, that amounts to roughly $40 per licensed-hunter, the study found. 

Similarly, anglers in Pennsylvania contributed more than $23.9 million through licenses, permits, and stamps in 2019. With more than 995,000 anglers that amounts to about $24 per licensed-angler.

Participation & Spending 

Here’s how participation and spending broke down by outdoor activity in 2020 in Pennsylvania:

Biking … 2,237,374 participants; generating $3,704,799 in expenditures.

Camping … 3,744,274 participants; generating $8,492,581 in expenditures. 

Motorcycle riding … 1,216,024 participants; generating $2,399,363 in expenditures.

Off roading … 1,541,238 participants; generating $1,790,725 in expenditures.

Snow sports … 748,697 participants; generating $3,111,514 in expenditures. 

Trail sports … 3,348,935 participants; generating $9,297,096 in expenditures. 

Water sports … 2,445,756 participants; generating $4,321,275 in expenditures. 

Wildlife watching … 1,228581 participants; generating $735,636 in expenditures.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.