Tourism related to snowmobiling has increased worldwide, and North America has shared in that bounty. Studies by major universities say miles ridden by snowmobilers increased by 50% during the 2012-2013 season, a good indicator of the sports’ increasing economic impact. This is a result of improved and expanded riding areas and trail systems combined with excellent riding conditions. And sled sales worldwide took a 9% jump to over 157,000 in the past year, with sales in the United States showing an impressive 11% gain. Those increases were also reflected in sales of manufacturer-branded parts, garments and accessories, up more than 20% from the previous year.
The majority of snowmobilers – 55% – belong to a club or snowmobiling association. Often these organizations are the driving force behind supporting snowmobiling access and they are vital in building new trails and maintaining existing ones. The snowmobiling industry reports that registered snowmobiles in North America increased last year to 2 million registered snowmobiles. This form of recreation appeals to both individuals and families, and a survey shows people enjoy it for a variety of reasons: viewing the scenery, being with family and friends, getting away from the demands of life, and being close to nature.
Snowmobiling now generates in excess of $30 billion dollars of economic activity annually in North America, providing jobs and investment opportunities that have impact far beyond the tourism industry, as well as being the source of considerable tax revenues for local governments.