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WNC outdoors recreation survey highlights economic impact of industry

WNC outdoors recreation survey highlights economic impact of industry

The MADE X MTNS Partnership released the results of the Western North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Participation Survey, conducted in partnership with the Center for Economic Research & Policy Analysis at Appalachian State University and the Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana, to establish a foundational dataset supporting the economic impact of outdoor recreation participation in the region. 

The survey results reflect $4.9 billion in economic output, 48,000 full-time jobs created and $197.5 million in county-level tax revenues across the region, all generated through outdoor recreation. The survey also focuses on the average amount of time and money that visitors spend during visits to the region, as well as popular outdoor recreation activities, including: day hiking, nature viewing, scenic driving, fishing, vehicle camping, motorized boating, backpacking and mountain biking.

The survey targeted outdoor recreation participants across 25 counties and the Qualla Boundary, and successfully captured insights from 1,786 respondents from key states — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia — representing visitors to WNC.

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