Research indicates huge value of outdoor activity to Wales
Recent research, led by Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum (PCF) and the Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation (WATO), has provided a better understanding of the contribution participation in outdoor activities such as climbing, hill walking and surfing make to Wales.
This research was recently highlighted in the Outdoor Activity Sector Cross-Party Group, the aims of which are to:
- To inform and influence future policy
- To elevate the status of the outdoor activity sector in Wales and support its sustainable growth;
- To support the advancement of equitable access to the natural environment for outdoor learning and activities.
The Welsh Sports Association (WSA) is a member of this group, alongside WSA member organisations The Outdoor Partnership, Swim Wales, Canoe Wales, Snowdonia Active, Cambrian Caving Council, Welsh Cycling, RYA Cymru Wales, British Mountaineering Council, Water Skills Academy, Welsh Triathlon, Mountain Training Cymru, and British Horse Society Cymru.
Funded by the Welsh Government Coastal Capacity Building Challenge Fund and conducted by Miller Research, the study ‘Economic and Social Evaluation of the Outdoor Activity Sector in Wales’ demonstrated the significant economic and social value of outdoor activities in Wales.
The research indicates that the sector contributes:
- £1.6 billion annually to the Welsh economy
- supports an estimated 31,000 jobs
- provides a mental health value of £26.5 million to Wales
- a change in primary reason for participation to a focus on mental health and a sense of well being
A noteworthy finding within the research suggests that a 10% increase in participation, based on a model by Sport England, could potentially increase social value by £187 million.
The WSA believes that these findings provide a strong foundation for policy discussions to support and develop the outdoor activity sector in Wales further, and we look forward to working with our members to promote the value of the sector.