Boating generates billions for Ohio’s economy

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COLUMBUS – The recreational boating industry generates an estimated $3.5 billion for Ohio’s economy and supports more than 26,000 jobs, according to a new study by the Great Lakes Commission and the Recreational Marine Research Center of Michigan State University.
Big impact. The new study shows a significant increase in recreational boating’s impact, as compared to similar data compiled in 1999 by The Ohio State University. That year, recreational boating’s impact was set at $1.4 billion in Ohio, with support for 19,500 jobs.
“We know recreational boating is a viable and growing industry in the region, which explains why Ohio and five other Great Lakes states are among the top 10 states nationally in number of registered watercraft,” said Sean D. Logan, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The study uses 2003 watercraft registration data compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as economic data from individual states.
Ohio had a near record 418,300 registered watercraft in 2003. The study details the primary and secondary economic impacts generated by boaters and the boating industry.
Numbers. Primary impacts in Ohio included $1.96 billion in direct sales of boats, equipment, repairs, insurance and trip-related expenses such as gasoline, lodging, restaurants and marina fees.
Additionally, researchers added $656 million in personal income from salaries related to the boating industry and $939 million in value-added expenditures such as restaurant suppliers, repair workers and service station employees.
Overall, the recreational boating industry in the eight-state Great Lakes region directly supported 107,000 jobs and generated a regional primary economic impact estimated at nearly $16 billion.
Adding in secondary spending effects, the study concluded the recreational boating industry actually produced a total economic impact estimated at $34.6 billion and supported 244,000 jobs throughout the Great Lakes region.
Findings. Other key findings of the study include:

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