Economic Impact
Issue Background

The Attractions Industry

IAAPA supports policies that encourage growth in the attractions industry, and the larger business community.

The attractions industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy. According to the Oxford Economics study, "The Economic Impacts of the US Attractions Industry" (February 2013), nearly 30,000 attractions produced a total nationwide economic impact of $219 billion in 2011, with $91 billion in direct impacts and $127 billion in indirect impacts. Even more notably, these sizable economic impacts are part of an escalating trend. From 2004 to 2011, the industry grew at twice the rate of the broader U.S. economy.

Attractions generate a ripple effect of economic activity, including direct industry sales ($34 billion), capital expenditures ($5 billion), and the ancillary spending of out-of-town visitors at local establishments outside the attraction, such as hotels, restaurants, and retailers ($52 billion). A full measurement of the impact of the attractions industry also includes indirect and induced impacts ($127 billion) through the supply chain and the spending of attractions-generated incomes.

The industry is a leader in creation of non-exportable jobs. Not only did the industry directly employ over 1.3 million, but also indirectly generated 1 million jobs, creating a total job impact of 2.3 million. Across the industry, the total payroll was over $11 billion in 2011.

The attractions industry also generated significant tax impacts at the federal, state, and local levels. In 2011, the industry generated more than $22 billion in federal taxes and nearly $19 billion in state and local taxes. Amusement/theme parks (including water parks) alone generated more than $12 billion in federal taxes and nearly $11 billion in state and local taxes.

The attractions industry is integral to many state economies. The industry generated an impact of nearly $48 billion in Florida, including $14 billion in total labor income, supporting nearly 490,000 jobs. Tax impacts in Florida approached $5 billion in federal taxes and $4 billion in state and local taxes. California ranks second, with a total economic impact of $38 billion, including nearly $11 billion in total labor income and sustaining 358,000 total jobs.