Take the Beachonomics Quiz
FORT MYERS - Travel and tourism is America's largest industry and employer, and beaches are America's leading tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors. Few Americans realize that beaches are a key driver of America's economy and support U.S. competitiveness in a world economy. Take our quiz to find out how much you know about America's coastal economy.
How much money does the tourism and travel industry contribute to America's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
A) $1.4 billion
Answer: D. According to The economic value of beaches - A 2008 update by James R. Houston of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the travel and tourism industry contributes $1.4 trillion to America's GDP. This accounts for 10.2 percent of U.S. output and makes travel and tourism the largest contributor to GDP, just ahead of durable goods manufacturing and retail trade.
How much annual tax revenue does the tourism and travel industry bring in for all levels of government in the United States?
A) $104.9 million
Answer: B. The tourism and travel industry produces $104.9 billion in annual tax revenue for all levels of government in the United States.
What percentage of Americans live within 50 miles of a coast?
Answer: A. More than 50 percent of Americans live within 50 miles of a coast. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, in 2007 more than 245.5 million people lived in the 30 coastal and Great Lakes states. Those states employed more than 107.5 million people and contributed $11.4 trillion to the national GDP.
True or false: Beaches offer an excellent return on investment to America's economy.
Answer: True. Every federal dollar spent on beaches brings in more than $300. According to Houston, beach tourism from two of the nation's largest tourism states, Florida and California, contributed more than $125 billion to the national economy in 2007. Florida accounted for $52 billion and California $73 billion. Beaches attract twice as many visitors as all our national parks combined; yet they receive a fraction of the federal funding spent annually on those parks.
What percentage of U.S. growth between 1997 and 2007 was in coastal states?
Answer: C. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, more than three-quarters of the U.S growth between 1997 and 2007 occurred in coastal states, whether measured by population, employment or GDP.
For more information about beach economics, visit www.asbpa.org.
Return to Current Edition