Study shows major economic impact of water-based tourism and recreation in MI

May 2019 News

The Michigan Port Collaborative, an industry partner of the Michigan Boating Industries Association released a report highlighting the $19.7 billion economic impact produced by Michigan’s ports and harbors, $15.4B of which was produced by water-based tourism and recreation. 

“We thank the MI Port Collaborative for investing in this important study highlighting the significant impact of Michigan’s ports, tourism and recreation, including boating,” said MBIA Executive Director Nicki Polan.

Noted in key findings of the study: water-based tourism and recreation economic impacts are nearly 4-times the size of commercial economic impacts. 

The study also finds that port/harbor water-based tourism economic activity supports an approximate 124,892 full-time equivalent jobs around the state. The state of Michigan and state municipalities collected an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue from this labor in 2017, and the federal government received $1.3 billion.

“The impact of our industry in the state is often underestimated and seen as ‘seasonal.’ This report is proof our industry is great and is a large contribution to our state and federal economy,” said Polan.


The Michigan Boating Industries Association is a non-profit trade association representing more than 350 marine businesses and serves as the voice for Michigan’s $7.4 billion marine industry.  MBIA is dedicated to the advancement, promotion and protection of recreational boating in Michigan.  For more information about the MBIA call 734.261.0123 or visit

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