“Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets ($51 billion).”
—The Outdoor Recreation Economy, 2012
The Outdoor Industry Association just released their annual report on The Outdoor Recreation Economy. The report looks at spending on gear and travel for all the major outdoor activities and also calculates the “ripple effect” that spending has on the economy.
Bicycling is one of ten “activity categories” analyzed in the report (along with camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, off roading, snow sports, trail sports, water sports and wildlife viewing.)
According to the report, Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets ($51 billion). That $81 billion is spread between $10 billion on bikes, gear, and accessories and over $70 billion on bicycle “trip related sales.” The direct economic impact of that spending supports 772,146 jobs. The report claims that the “ripple effect spending” of all this bicycling activity is over $198 billion and supports 1,478,475 jobs.
Overall, bicycling as an activity category is ranked third in spending behind only camping and water sports.
The OIA says outdoor recreation is an “overlooked economic giant.” With annual spending at $646 billion, it’s third in total annual consumer spending behind only financial services/insurance and health care spending. By way of comparison, total annual spending on motor vehicles and parts is just $340 billion.
These numbers bode well for Oregon’s efforts to boost bicycle tourism. Travel Oregon is currently working hard to showcase our state’s burgeoning network of official Scenic Bikeways and they’re also working on their own bicycling economic impact study. Stay tuned for more on all those fronts.
— Download a PDF of the report here.