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Outdoor Recreation: A Boost To the Tennessee Economy

PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in Tennessee generates $8.2-billion in consumer spending and supports 83,000 jobs. CREDIT: Ron Cogswell
PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in Tennessee generates $8.2-billion in consumer spending and supports 83,000 jobs. CREDIT: Ron Cogswell
February 18, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There are big bucks in outdoor recreation for the state of Tennessee. The Outdoor Industry Association has totaled up the financial impact from hiking, fishing, hunting and the like. Spokeswoman Avery Stonich said outdoor recreation is a major player in the state economy.

"We've got $8.2-billion in consumer spending, 83,000 jobs, $2.5 billion in wages and salaries and 535 million in tax revenue," she said.

Nearly 60 percent of Tennesseans take part in outdoor recreation each year, according to the report. Among the state's treasured destinations are South Cumberland State Park and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Spending on outdoor recreation in the U.S. has increased by about 5 percent each year, even through the Great Recession. That shows how much Americans value the ability to get out and play in the great outdoors, Stonich said.

"It's something that people find important, even when they're struggling with other aspects of the economy," she explained. "So it's important that we support policies that protect the places where people get outside and enjoy our nation's natural resources."

Nationally, outdoor recreation is said to generate nearly $650 billion a year in consumer spending, while directly supporting more than 6 million jobs.

More information is available at www.outdoorindustry.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TN