The economic contributions of the travel and tourism industry are substantial, with millions of travelers visiting Pennsylvania each year. According to the Department of Economic and Community Development, Pennsylvania has long been a travel destination, boasting a rich, multifaceted history and an ideal combination of sleek cityscapes, charming small towns, rugged woodlands and lush countryside to explore.
Did you know?
197 million domestic travelers visit Pennsylvania each year.
injected annually by Pennsylvania Travelers
in tax revenues generated annually
is spent in Pennsylvania by international visitors
Quality of Life
There is a growing recognition that connecting people with nature has a profound effect on their perception of whether their life, in its simplest terms, is “good” or “bad.”
- Improving human health and increasing time spent outdoors
- Attracting and retaining businesses and employees
- Improving property values, which translates into an increased tax base
- Drinking water, habitat, and air quality are all improved by the existence of forest.
- Forested lands provide filtration of runoff and erosion prevention, reducing water treatment costs and storm water impacts
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analyses released data showing that the national outdoor recreation industry comprises 2 percent ($373.7 billion) of the 2016 U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which is more than extractive industries like oil, natural gas, and coal. Pennsylvania’s 2.2 million-acre state forest system, found in 49 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, makes up 12 percent of the state’s forested area and represents one of the largest expanses of public forestland in the eastern United States. Our state forests provide 10 percent, or $1.2 billion, of the annual forest product industry revenue.
Did you know?
Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation in consumer spending in outdoor recreation.
in consumer spending
in wages and salaries
in state & local tax revenue
By 2020, 57 percent of Pennsylvanians will be obese and related health care costs will surpass $13.5 billion. Reducing the average body mass index in Pennsylvania by only five percent could mean an $8 BILLION-dollar savings in health care costs in the next 10 years and $24 BILLION in the next 20 years.
Mental Health Benefits
Pennsylvanians who visit state parks and forests each year do so to have fun, reduce stress and anxiety, and connect to the outdoors. Visiting state parks and forests can reduce medical costs as studies show that 60% to 90% of doctor visits are attributed to stress-related illnesses and symptoms.
Enhancing Social Bonds
Survey respondents (both park visitors and providers) for the 2014-2019 statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) said that “opportunities for social interaction” was one of the most important park and recreation benefits to them.
It is estimate that the outdoor recreation industry accounts for more than 219,000 direct jobs in
Ecosystem services range from erosion control, water and air purification, noise buffering, and medicinal benefits.