Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

The NGA Outdoor Recreation Learning Network and Economic Policy teams are working with state recreation and economic policy networks and the Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) to gather and analyze data in order to study the effectiveness of Economic Development Administration Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (TTOR) grants.

Specifically, NGA and CORE will identify and share best practices from projects that can be replicated and that aim to:

  • Expand the outdoor recreation economy;
  • Create equitable opportunities for underserved populations;
  • Build diversified local recreation economies that are resilient to future economic shocks and climate change; and
  • Foster higher-skilled, higher wage job opportunities.

Projects Survey

NGA and CORE will be sending TTOR grant recipients a survey to collect baseline data on the outputs and outcomes of their project to-date on January 8, 2024. This survey is mandatory and complements existing reporting requirements under EDA awards. However, we do not expect grantees to be collecting all the data requested; but to complete the survey to the best of their ability. The survey is due on February 29, 2024. NGA and CORE will be hosting several calls to provide guidance and answer any questions grantees have about the survey.

Project Webinars

NGA hosted a series of four webinars to highlight innovative and replicable projects funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Travel Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.

If you would like more information on this project, or have innovative projects in your state that you’d like to share, please contact Sally Rood (

In the News

Economic Development Administration Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation grants in the news

Local Investments

The Outdoor Recreation Economy

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data shows that inflation-adjusted (“real”) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy increased 18.9 percent in 2021 with outdoor recreation providing over 4.5 million jobs. Real gross output – a broader measure of all economic activity generated – for the outdoor recreation economy was even more significant, totaling $862 billion in 2021.

Click on the map below to see the value added by outdoor recreation by state.

Disclaimer: The work presented on this page is being conducted by the National Governors Association using Federal funds under award ED22HDQ3070131 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.