Press Release –
By the year 2020, tourism will be the world’s largest industry – predicts the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
Today, Travel and Tourism in North America is a $2 Trillion Dollar business and accounts for millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars in state and federal tax revenues.
Clearly tourism is an important part of North American’s product inventory and tourism overall continues to grow.
A very important part of that Tourism growth is the snowmobile community which includes the products, the trails, the resorts, the restaurants, and the many great amenities available for winter tourists.
A quick look at the snowmobile numbers supports our claim as an important part of the economic engine of North America. Registrations of snowmobiles in the United States for this past year are now over 1.625 million snowmobiles – a 2.6% increase from last year. In Canada there are over 708 thousand registered snowmobiles – a 1.5% increase from last year.
Miles ridden by snowmobilers in North America jumped 17% this past season. The average snowmobiler rode over 1040 miles this past winter.
Sales of snowmobiles worldwide increased 2% to 163,753 units and notably Parts, Garments and Accessories sales increased over 17% this past season vs. the season before. Yes, 5 key measurement indicators of the snowmobile community reported positive gains and as you can see, in some instances double digit growth.
We know the record snowfalls reported in parts of North America were important related factors to the increased riding activity and registration numbers.
Those increased numbers are showing up in new economic impact statements from states and provinces, reporting that Winter Tourism spending overall was up in 2007-2008 vs. the winter of 2006-2007.
Much of the increase can be attributed to an increase in snowmobiling activity. Final reports of sales tax collections and room taxes are still to be finalized but the reports are positive.
Tourism and Travel Bureaus and Commerce departments are consistently telling the ISMA office that snowmobiling is becoming a larger part of the winter economic action picture than ever before.
A successful 2007-2008 winter should be followed by a successful 2008-2009 winter. Average temperatures in North America are falling and the forecast is favorable for good snowmobiling conditions.
People want to get out and enjoy themselves escaping from the stresses of a normal work day and a less than entertaining TV schedule, so snowmobiling with friends fills the need.
The manufacturers are working closely with the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) in the expansion and development of the Go Snowmobiling – Take a Friend Snowmobiling campaign. I’m confident we will introduce many new winter outdoor enthusiasts to the great family activity of snowmobiling this winter.