New Hampshire’s Outdoor Recreation Economy Ranked in Top 10 in 2020

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New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs announces the Granite State’s outdoor recreation industry created $2.2 billion in economic activity last year, employing over 26,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

New Hampshire's fishing sector grew by 41% in 2020. Photo courtesy of New Hampshire BEA.

“People inside and outside the state were drawn to New Hampshire’s beauty, natural resources and outdoor activities during COVID-19, particularly in individual and small group sports like skiing, boating and cycling,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell.

New Hampshire's outdoor recreation economy represented 2.6% of the state's gross domestic product (GDP), ranking in the top 10 nationwide, according to 2020 data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Granite State’s $2.2 billion outdoor recreation industry employed over 26,500 people in 2020.

The report includes non-traditional outdoor sectors such as amusement parks, water parks and festivals, which were negatively impacted by COVID-19. However, conventional outdoor activities like camping, boating, fishing and RVing either increased or stayed the same.

Several of New Hampshire’s outdoor sectors showed growth in 2020:

  • Boating/Fishing - 41%
  • Bicycling – 14%
  • RVing - 9%
  • OHRVing – 5%

“Despite the global pandemic, New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation employers were still significant drivers of the state’s economy last year,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “People inside and outside the state were drawn to New Hampshire’s beauty, natural resources and outdoor activities during COVID-19, particularly in individual and small group sports like skiing, boating and cycling.”

The 2020 statistics include measures of value added by outdoor recreation activity and measures of value-added employment and compensation by industry for the outdoor recreation economy of the United States as a whole and for each state and the District of Columbia. The statistics also include data on gross output, essentially sales or receipts, by outdoor recreation activity and industry at the national level.

“Noteworthy is the productive output of the RV, boating and biking segments, which are likely harbingers of 2021 numbers. Going forward, the New Hampshire outdoor industry is mobilized and well-positioned to improve its meaningful impact through workforce initiatives, community development and making the outdoors accessible and welcoming to all,” said Tyler Ray of the industry group Granite Outdoor Alliance.

To access the full report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, click here: https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-11/orsa1121.pdf.

About the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA)
The Department of Business and Economic Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of the State of New Hampshire while promoting it as a destination for domestic and international visitors. For more information visit http://www.nheconomy.com or http://www.choosenh.com.

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