Outdoor recreation generates more than $3 billion in state and local tax revenue in the Northwest. That’s according to a report out this week from the Outdoor Industry Association.
According to OIA, consumer spending on outdoor recreation, as well as wages and salaries, the number of jobs, and tax revenue are all soaring.
That last one — tax revenue — could be particularly important to rural Northwest communities.
“Whether you’re viewing it through the lens of tourism generally, or outdoor recreation specifically, or from any of the multiple industries that that supports — manufacturing, retail, transportation — in communities that have losses of their traditional economic activity, I think it’s doubly important to recognize the contribution of outdoor recreation,” said Jaime Rossman, a policy advisor with Washington state’s Department of Commerce.
According to the report, roughly 70 percent of Oregon and Washington’s population participates in outdoor recreation. Combined, more than 270,000 jobs are tied to the outdoor industry in both states.
In Washington, workers made 12 percent more money from jobs tied to trail and snow sports than they did through jobs in forestry. In Oregon, there are more jobs tied to camping, than to the food service industry.