The Office of Outdoor Recreation leverages Maine’s assets and outdoor recreation heritage to grow the outdoor recreation economy and build Maine’s outdoor recreation brand as part of a coordinated effort with partners from the public and private sectors.
Outdoor recreation made up 3.6% of Maine’s economy, making Maine one of the top five states in the country in the value outdoor recreation added to statewide GDP.
- Manufacturing of outdoor recreation gear and equipment contributed $348 million to Maine’s economy in 2021, a 21% increase over 2020.
- Guiding and outfitting increased 43% in 2021, rebounding from a significant drop in 2020.
- Canoeing/kayaking increased 69% from the previous year in the value added to Maine’s economy.
2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account
Click on the image below to watch a video about Maine's outdoor recreation economy.
- Help develop strategies to create outdoor recreation employment, to enhance business growth and to coordinate with state economic development leaders to integrate the outdoor recreation industry into their efforts.
- Establish relationships between diverse industries that depend upon the state’s natural resources to ensure recreation interests and perspectives are included in policy decisions related to land management and land use planning activities, including access, stewardship and conservation.
- Serve as a central point of contact for the outdoor recreation industry in Maine, monitoring emerging trends and issues that may potentially impact the outdoor recreation assets and experiences in the state.
- Facilitate coordination with Maine Office of Tourism, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and Department of Transportation in promoting outdoor recreation opportunities. Coordinate market research on the impact of outdoor recreation to the state, including participation and consumer spending figures.
- Promote the health benefits of outdoor recreation by encouraging active lifestyles for Mainers through collaboration with healthcare industry leaders and local communities minimizing barriers to outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Maine Outdoor Economy Summit is a one-day forum for professional development, ideation, and discussions on essential topics impacting Maine’s outdoor industry in the areas of economic development, workforce, access and equity.
Visit the Summit website to access additional information about the event, including the 2022 speaker presentations, photos and videos.
INDUSTRY PARTNERS & RESOURCES:
Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB), a non-profit alliance whose goal it is to help drive the success of its member brands was established in 2017 by a group of Maine outdoor product companies and was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
National Governor’s Association Outdoor Recreation Learning Network helps governors and their outdoor recreation staff explore strategies to leverage their unique natural, cultural and historical resources to improve access to and help promote economic, social and environmental benefits.
Outdoor Industry Association is a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry. In collaboration with our members, we are a force for the industry in recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation and increasing outdoor participation.
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and promotes the growth of the outdoor recreation economy and outdoor recreation activities.
Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce measures the economic activity as well as the sales or receipts generated by outdoor recreational activities. These statistics also measure each industry’s production of outdoor goods and services and its contribution to U.S. GDP. November 2021 statistics show state value added, compensation, and employment as well.
In 2017, a group of Maine outdoor product companies came together to establish Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB), a non-profit alliance that unites business leaders and entrepreneurs in raising awareness of Maine’s outdoor recreation economy and strengthens Maine’s outdoor product/service companies through knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB worked with Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development to create the Office of Outdoor Recreation to advance the Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. The Office was launched in 2018 and became permanently established in 2019 making it the 10th state office in the U.S. to be created and staffed.
On October 24, 2019, Maine became one of 12 member states of the Confluence of States a bipartisan organization developing a national platform to grow the outdoor recreation industry, protect our nation's wild places and transform conservation into a driver for economic prosperity. As a signatory to the Confluence Accords we are united by four pillars to ensure outdoor recreation retains a bipartisan approach – economic development; education & workforce training; conservation & stewardship; and public health & wellness.