BEA Satellite Accounts on Outdoor Recreation and Travel and Tourism

Outdoor Recreation

In February 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released prototype estimates from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA). According to the BEA, outdoor recreation accounted for 2.2 percent of the U.S. economy, or $412 billion, in 2016.

Notably, the ORSA features two commodities (i.e., goods and services) that include arts/cultural goods and services. In 2016, for example, gross output of outdoor “festivals, sporting events, and concerts” was $26.5 billion. And, in that same year, gross output of “other outdoor recreation activities” was $16.7 billion. “Other outdoor activities” includes outdoor photography plus a wide variety of events such as kite‐flying, water polo, and stargazing.

Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism, the BEA reports, contributed $516.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. That value was 2.65 percent of GDP.

Like the outdoor recreation economy, travel and tourism includes an arts and cultural element.

In 2016, performing arts and motion picture industries contributed $9.5 billion to the travel and tourism economy.