Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

July 2013

Amusement Parks & Attractions Industry Generates More Than $200 Billion, Supports 2.3 Million Jobs

The attractions industry—made up of everything from amusement parks, museums and zoos to waterparks, nature parks and more—is a significant driver of the U.S. economy, according to research sponsored by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Foundation. Conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, the study reveals that the U.S. attractions industry generated a total economic impact of nearly $219 billion in 2011.

Attractions generate a ripple effect of economic activity, including direct industry sales ($34 billion), capital expenditures ($5 billion), and the ancillary spending of out-of-town visitors at local establishments outside the attraction, such as hotels, restaurants and retailers ($52 billion). A full measurement of the impact of the attractions industry also includes indirect and induced impacts ($127 billion) through the supply chain and the spending of attractions-generated incomes.

The attractions industry grew at nearly twice the rate of the overall U.S. economy from 2004 to 2011. In 2004, the attractions industry generated a total economic impact of $146 billion. Over seven years, the impact of attractions in the United States grew 50 percent, with an average growth rate of 6 percent per annum.

The attractions industry's nationwide economic impact of nearly $219 billion in 2011 included $91 billion in direct impacts and $127 billion in indirect and induced impacts. This total economic impact of $219 billion included nearly $67 billion in total labor income, supporting more than 2.3 million total jobs. Amusement and theme parks (including waterparks) had the largest impact, generating $122 billion in total economic activity, including $40 billion in total labor income and 1.3 million total jobs. Museums and family entertainment centers generated economic impacts of $37 bullion and $32 billion, respectively.

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