Hikers, kayakers, snowshoers, and other non-motorized outdoor recreationists contribute billions of dollars to British Columbia’s economy every year.
In fact, a new report says non-motorized outdoor recreation resulted in $3.6 billion in “direct economic contributions” in 2012.
Prepared by Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management for the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C., the report found that half of the province’s population participated in some form of outdoor recreation that year.
The researchers’ survey discovered that the most popular forms of non-motorized outdoor recreation among respondents were hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, flatwater kayaking, and trail running (in that order).
Respondents living outside the Lower Mainland went on single-day trips for non-motorized recreation more often than those in the region. Most single-day trips took place within 50 kilometres of respondents’ homes.
“The fact that respondents living outside of the Lower Mainland, where opportunities for pursuing outdoor recreation are more easily accessible, reported higher frequency of participation in single-day trips suggests that the economic contributions of non-motorized recreation are directly linked to the availability of recreation opportunities,” the report states. “Single-day trips alone generated an estimated $2.5 billion in BC in 2012. It stands to reason that if recreation opportunities are made more easily accessible to residents living in the province’s most densely populated areas, that this figure has the potential to grow even larger.”
Hiking resulted in average single-day trip expenses of $74.25 per person per day, according to the report. For multi-day trips, average expenses were $232.92 per person per day.
“The results presented in this report demonstrate that non-motorized outdoor recreationists contribute significantly to the economy of BC,” the report concludes.