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Outdoor Recreation a Critical Player in Arkansas’ Economy

Submitted by the Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) released the state-by-state Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, which demonstrates the powerful impact that outdoor recreation has on Arkansas’ economy.

The report shows that the outdoor recreation economy in Arkansas directly contributes 96,000 jobs and annually generates $9.7 billion in consumer spending and $698 million in state and local tax revenue.

OIA’s report also highlights that 63 percent of Arkansas’ 2.99 million residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.

“The outdoor recreation economy is a powerful economic engine across our country,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “Today’s report reminds us all that no matter where we come from or our political affiliation, we all thrive outside. We see that in every state, the outdoor recreation economy is contributing to healthier economies and healthier communities, and we’re calling on our elected officials to continue supporting and advocating for policies that invest in outdoor recreation.”

As demonstrated by the state data report, the outdoor recreation economy of Arkansas is thriving and playing a major part in the state’s overall economy. To ensure this continued growth and success, Outdoor Industry Association urges state policymakers to do the following:

  1. Adequately fund state and local parks and trails to make them attractive and accessible to families and friends seeking to get outside.
  2. Take steps to raise awareness of the importance of the outdoor recreation economy.
  3. Develop and plan urban areas in a way that means every citizen can get outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their home.
  4. Support policies that encourage outdoor innovators to start businesses in Arkansas.

The state-by-state report comes after OIA issued its 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy national report earlier this year, which found that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and sustains 7.6 million American jobs. To review all state-by-state reports, visit the OIA Advocacy Center.

Outdoor Industry Association issued the first Outdoor Recreation Economy state-level report in 2012 and has made significant improvements to the report since then. This second edition of the state report takes a broader view of the growing industry and its shifting demographics. The sample that was drawn for this study was designed to represent the U.S. population on the basis of gender, age, education and race.

Respondents were solicited through Survey Sampling International (SSI), a longtime leader in survey research. The report was made possible through the generous support of REI, Patagonia, The North Face, W.L. Gore, People for Bikes, The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and The Outdoor Foundation.

About Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Industry Association unites and serves over 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit www.OutdoorIndustry.org.

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