In this section

The economic contribution of Australia's nature-based outdoor recreation sector

Nature-based outdoor recreation activities form a major part of the Australian lifestyle. The benefits of participation in these activities are far-reaching and significant. However, up until now, these benefits have been largely unknown.

New research has now established preliminary estimates regarding the important economic contributions of this sector in order to support the identification of skills and training needs for the future workforce.

SkillsIQ commissioned Marsden Jacob Associates to conduct a study to better understand the impact of the nature-based outdoor recreation sector on Australia’s economy. A quantitative evaluation was conducted to establish a picture of this sector, covering both participation across activities and also the economics of the sector in relation to employment, expenditure, and Gross Value-Add (GVA).

Australia’s nature-based outdoor activities community covers a diverse range of participants and organisations—both young and old, public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit, community- and business-oriented, voluntary and professional.

SkillsIQ is pleased to release the national report, Nationwide impacts of outdoor recreation. Key estimates and recommendations. A Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) based analysis. The national estimates presented in this report are based on Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling, an economic approach to estimate the impact which accounts for changes in spending or policy on an economy, as well as remove ‘leakages’ (i.e. outflows, exits) from the economy.

Some of the national findings show:

  • $11 billion estimated contribution of outdoor recreation to Australia’s economy
  • 1% estimated contribution of outdoor recreation to Australia’s economy
  • $20 billion estimated total expenditure on outdoor recreation
  • 16,000 – 30,000 Full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs attributable to outdoor recreation.
  • This national report is released as part of a wider study which involved estimating the economic contribution of the nature-based outdoor recreation sector for individual States and Territories. The individual State and Territory reports are available below. Please note that a different methodology was applied to estimate the individual State and Territory figures (i.e Input-Output modelling was used) and therefore State/Territory figures cannot be compared to, or consolidated with, the national figures published in this report. Further information regarding methodologies applied are available in the appendices of each report.

    To access your state or territory report, please click the relevant link below.

    To view Victoria's report commissioned by Outdoors Victoria please click here

    The reports establish an important body of evidence which underpins the importance of ensuring the development of a skilled workforce to support participation in nature-based outdoor activities. 

    For further information, please contact SkillsIQ on (02) 9392 8100.