- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - A new state study finds that people in Washington spend nearly $22 billion each year hiking, skiing, boating, golfing, and in other outdoor pursuits.

The report released Thursday estimates that residents spend on average about 56 days a year on outdoor recreational activities. And they spend money while doing so - on hotels, recreational equipment, food and other items.

Of the outdoor spending, about $12.5 billion in direct sales circulated through the local economy, which in turn produced an additional $8 billion in economic contributions to the state.

Out-of-state visitors account for 27 percent of dollars spent.

The study says nearly 200,000 jobs are supported by money spent on outdoor recreation. It says these markets play an important role in moving money from urban to rural areas and creating jobs in those rural areas.

The report was ordered by the state Legislature and commissioned by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

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