A new study just out from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion annually to the state’s economy. From the press release:
Recreational bicycling is among Wisconsin’s top outdoor activities in terms of economic impact, and increasing bicycling has the potential to deliver impressive health benefits and savings, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The report, produced by the CHANGE program of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, estimates that the economic impact of recreational bicycling in the state exceeds $924 million. Of this amount, $533 million is annual direct spending while an additional $391 million is due to indirect and induced effects, such increased purchases of supplies and labor by restaurants and hotels serving cyclists. These indirect and induced impacts may also occur on an annual basis or may extend over a longer time-frame.
Combined with previous estimates of the state’s bicycle manufacturing, sales, and services industry, this means bicycling generates more than $1.5 billion a year in total economic impact, according to the report. By comparison, deer hunting in the state generates $926 million, according to the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. And in a 2001 report, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimated the impact of snowmobiling to be just under $250 million.