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Outdoor Recreation Economy in Texas? It's Big Too.

PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in Texas generates $28.7-billion in consumer spending and supports 277,000 jobs. CREDIT: Robert Nunnally
PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in Texas generates $28.7-billion in consumer spending and supports 277,000 jobs. CREDIT: Robert Nunnally
February 18, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas - There are big bucks in outdoor recreation for the state of Texas. 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.

"It's a pretty big deal in Texas. We've got $28.7 billion dollars in direct consumer spending, 277,000 jobs, $8.9 billion in wages and $1.9 billion in tax revenue."

More than half of Texans take part in outdoor recreation, according to the report. Among the treasured destinations are Garner State Park and Big Bend National Park.

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 - TX