Indiana works toward office of outdoor recreation development

Last week, under the leadership of Indiana State Senator Blake Doriot, the Indiana Senate Natural Resources committee unanimously approved Senate Concurrent Resolution #15, which calls for establishing an Indiana Office of Outdoor Recreation Development. In response, NMMA said it applauded Indiana legislators for recognizing the importance that the outdoor recreation economy has on the Hoosier state.

The resolution outlines the priorities for the Office of Outdoor Recreation Development, encouraging the office to be established within the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC), which is led by President Elaine Bedel. The priorities detailed in the resolution include increasing outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism, and ecotourism, promoting the growth of the outdoor recreation economy, and promoting the health and social benefits of outdoor recreation.

NMMA said outdoor recreation is a vital part of the economy, accounting for 2.2% of total gross domestic product (GDP) nationally. In Indiana, outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse, generating an economic impact of $9.7 billion in consumer spending and accounts for 108,000 jobs across the state. The recreational boating industry in Indiana accounts for $4.1 billion in economic impact annually, resulting in 14,265 jobs and 398 businesses.

NMMA said it actively advocates for the creation of state outdoor recreation offices, a key objective of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). ORR is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade association with 30 members, of which NMMA is a founding member.

Before the Senate Natural Resources hearing last week, NMMA submitted testimony in support of the resolution. NMMA said it will continue to work with policymakers in Indiana to encourage the passage of this resolution and establishment of an office of outdoor recreation.

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