New York, New York (PRWEB) February 18, 2013
A new article released by The Huffington Post notes that while Americans may have earned a reputation as gas-guzzling couch potatoes, a new study actually paints quite a different picture. The Outdoor Industry Association explains that Americans devote more money to enjoying the outdoors than they do to buying gasoline, purchasing pharmaceutical drugs, or owning cars. Outdoor enthusiast Josh Fink comments on these findings.
The new report explains that 44 percent of Americans make outdoor recreation a priority, which adds up to an annual economic impact of $646B. By comparison, Americans purchase $354B worth of gas and other fuels. The outdoor recreation industry currently has 6.1 million jobs and offers a combined $80B in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
Josh Fink, a mountain climber who has summited such peaks as Mt. Everest and Kilimanjaro, explains that he is pleased with the findings. He states, “While our country may have a reputation for video game habits and love cars, it’s refreshing to see that many people still value spending time in nature. Outdoor activities are relaxing, and allow you to get fresh air and exercise as you enjoy an unbeatable view.”
The study suggests that United States citizens care more about the outdoors than they receive credit for. Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Outdoor Industry Association notes, “The biggest takeaway is that protecting our public lands, waters, and trails is more than just about the land. It’s about preserving and protecting economies, communities, and people whose lives depend on having great places to play outside.”
The activities quantified in the study were camping, fishing, bicycling, hunting, motorcycling, snow sports, wildlife viewing, and others.
Previous economic studies have interpreted outdoor activities narrowly, but these new findings look at the broad economic impact of outdoor recreation, including the manufacturing, design, development, and marketing of gear, sales linked to both retailers and wholesalers of outdoor equipment, expenditures for going on a trip to use this gear, purchasing of licenses and supplies, and the costs that come along with leisure activities and hospitality.
The numbers are impressive, and suggest that a growing number of Americans are using the country’s natural resources for their personal enjoyment. Josh Finks states, “It’s my hope that a love of the outdoors will continue for generations to come. Though kids may have many different options when it comes to entertainment today, the outdoors has been a popular choice for years, and hopefully will remain that way.”
Josh Fink is an active participant in outdoor activities ranging from snowshoeing to canoeing and hiking. In his youth, he was an avid mountain climber and has scaled some of the world’s most impressive peaks, including Mt. Everest and Kilimanjaro. He is proud to have passed this love of the outdoors on to his children, and hopes to do the same for his grandkids.