Recreational Boating in Maryland:
An Economic Impact Study, 1993-1994
By Douglas W. Lipton and Scott Miller
Maryland recreational boating expenditures total $1.01 billion annually, providing a net economic boost of over $980 million annually to the State of Maryland according to the results of a Maryland Sea Grant study presented at the 17th Annual Maryland Marine Trades Conference.
Coordinated by Douglas W. Lipton, Director of the University of Maryland Sea Grant College Extension Program, the report finds that, on average, boaters of all classes each contribute $5,136 annually to the state economic output. Those expenditures generate over 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the Maryland economy, and 34 percent of the expenditures result in actual wage payments and compensation to Maryland residents.
Maryland state and county governments benefit as well with sizable tax revenues from the recreational boating expenditures. The state and local income tax generated is $4.3 million, an amount that is in addition to an estimated $3 million in taxes paid directly by the boaters themselves. This tax revenue does not count state excise taxes on boat sales and local slip taxes, and sizeable business income tax.
Funded through the cooperative efforts of the Maryland Boating Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, the study's aim was to evaluate the spending by boaters, and how that spending affects both the state economy and Maryland businesses, from marine-related firms such as marinas and boat dealers to restaurants and service establishments. Support for the analysis was also provided by the Maryland Sea Grant College Program and the University of University of Maryland Extension Service.
Overall boaters spend over $1 billion annually in boating activities. The study breaks those activities into three main areas: $438 million spent on boating trips for items such as boat fuel, food and lodging, fishing supplies, clothing and equipment; $428 million spent on boating-related expenditures such as slip fees and maintenance; and $144.5 million spent in the purchase of either new or brokered used boats.
The study focuses strictly on the activities of registered and documented private recreational boats in Maryland during the summers of 1993 and 1994, and does not take into account the additional impact that transient boaters and others who spend money with Maryland marine trade industries likely have. Thus a boater registered in Delaware who spends most of the time boating on the Chesapeake Bay is not included in the report's results. With Maryland being a major destination for boaters registered in other states, there is a significant amount of "out-of-state" expenditures not captured in the study. Additionally it does not include the economic impact of charter boat activity in Maryland such as fishing charters or tourist boat excursions.
Lipton says "The study demonstrates that the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay has important economic implications. A degraded Bay means less boating, less income and less employment generated in the region. The study also shows that boater spending has a wide impact both geographically, and across industries. When boating is impacted, negatively or positively, there are concurrent impacts across the economy."
Lipton says that similar studies conducted in Florida, Texas and Seattle areas have like results. He also notes that the boating industry is showing signs of rebounding from a deep recession in the early 1990's which means good news for Maryland's economy. Lipton plans on updating the Maryland study annually based on new figures on boating registrations and price inflation.
Based on 190,436 registered and documented boats in Maryland in 1993, the analysis by the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program employed detailed survey questionnaires of boaters. The Department of Natural Resources Boating Administration and the Marine Trades Association of Maryland assisted in the design and sample selection of the survey. The University of Maryland Survey Research Center conducted the survey.
Survey responses provided measures of expenditures and spending patterns (i.e., food and lodging, fishing supplies, boat fuel, transportation) by owners of trailered powerboats, in-water powerboats and sailboats. The average expenditures for each class of boat was then multiplied by the number of registered boats of that class. In 1993, the registered and documented boats were as follows: trailered powerboats: 100,087; in-water powerboats 60,021; and sailboats 30,328.
To determine the economic activity generated by the recreational boating industry, an impact analysis planning (IMPLAN) model - a national input/output model - was used to assess how expenditures generated by the recreational boating industry affected various aspects of the state economy, for instance, their affect on income and jobs.
The following summarizes boater expenditures and the resulting economic activity.
- Spending related to recreational boating in 1993 totaled $1.01 billion.
This sum is divided among:
- $438.0 million - Boating trips
- $428.0 million - Boating-related spending
- $144.5 million - Purchase of new/used boats
- Average annual trip-related expenditures for each registered boater:
- $1,283 - Trailered powerboats
- $1,192 - In-water powerboats
- $ 720 - Sailboats
- Average annual boat-related expenditures for each registered boater:
- $1,196 - Trailered powerboats
- $2,894 - In-water powerboats
- $4,454 - Sailboats
The study was presented Monday, March 6, 1995, at the 17th annual Maryland Marine Trades Conference in Annapolis, Maryland.
For further information contact:
Douglas W. Lipton