Outdoor Recreation Industry Continues to Bolster State


November 27th, 2023 –The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released economic data for 2022 exhibiting outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy. The outdoor recreation economy in New Mexico grew 1.8% from 2021 to 2022, according to the BEA. This year’s report also shows that outdoor recreation creates $2.4 billion in value added for New Mexico and accounts for 1.9% of state GDP, including nearly 28,000 jobs.


The BEA report shows 2022 as the largest recorded measure for outdoor recreation contribution to GDP and outdoor recreation compensation in New Mexico since the BEA started calculating the size of the outdoor recreation economy in 2012.


When Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham created the Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD) in 2019, she also targeted the industry as a key driver to diversify New Mexico’s economy. Since then, New Mexico’s ORD has invested $10 million in trails and infrastructure projects and awarded Outdoor Equity grants to 181 organizations so over 58,000 youths can experience recreational activities.


Key Highlights from the 2022 data on the outdoor recreation economy by activity:

  • New Mexico saw a 11.6% increase in 2022 YOY in total outdoor recreation activities.
  • Top core outdoor recreation activities include RVing, boating/fishing, snow activities, equestrian, and motorcycling/ATVing.
  • The compound annual growth rate since 2019 has increased 1.5% overall, 5.9% in core OR activities (such as those listed above).
  • Total core OR activities accounted for $1.04 billion in value added, while supporting OR (construction, travel, tourism, government) accounted for $1.34 billion in value added.



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