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Economic Benefits of Water Trails

There are a variety of economic benefits to local and state economies by developing water trails including:
  • Financial investment in developing recreational water trails is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of recreational facilities due to the limited amount of land needed, fewer structures needed, and minimal river access infrastructure needed.
  • Many communities can create a water trail by using existing public boat ramps and on existing public lands building new river access points.
  • Water trails create significant new opportunities for local revenue generation through tourism; patronage of local businesses including retail, dining, and lodging; new business development; gear and equipment sales and rentals; and development of new festivals and events related to local rivers and water trails. 
  • “Eco-Tourism” such as water trails and outdoor recreation are clean, environmentally friendly and sustainable economic development activities.
Measure the Economic Impact of Your Paddling Events!

Data demonstrating the economic benefits of Water Trails is hard to come by, especially here is Georgia...and these numbers are very important when convincing the powers that be of the importance and positive impact a water trail can have on a community and its river.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development has created an Event Impact Calculator that you can use to determine the amount of dollars your event has brought in to your community. The tool is designed to be simple and flexible. Basic parameters of an event are translated into a full economic impact analysis including:

■ Business sales by industry and source
■ Impacts of sales on jobs, wages, and local taxes
■ ROI of the event against hosting costs and incentives

A report is then generated for the event that can be saved or printed and users can save, recall, or aggregate events.

Read the EIC User Manual when completing the Event Impact Calculator. You can also access these resources HERE.
Reports with specific examples of economic benefits of Water Trails, Paddle Sports and/or Outdoor Recreation
Interested in quick National and Statewide Statistics on Water Sports? Return to the GA Water Trail Homepage.
Current River Issues
At Georgia River Network, we envision a clean water future for Georgia. Find out about the issues we're working on now to make this dream a reality. Learn about it here.
Water Trails
Our Water Trails Clearinghouse is designed to help you find great places to paddle in Georgia and also to give you the tools to create paddling opportunities in your community. Learn more here.
Paddle Georgia
Paddle Georgia is a 7 day trip on a different river each June. Be sure to sign up for the Paddle Georgia newsletter to stay in touch with the going on! Visit the official Paddle Georgia website or our YouTube channel to learn more.