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Travel & Tourism



Utah Tourism Grew in 2012, Reaching $7.4 Billion

Press Release

September 18, 2013

Utah Office of Tourism Releases 2012 Tourism Numbers Strong growth in tourism creates jobs and economic opportunity in rural Utah.

Salt Lake City — Economic numbers recently released by the Utah Office of Tourism show continued growth in Utah's tourism industry, reaching $7.4 billion in traveler spending last year and employing 127,781 Utahns statewide.

"The growth of Utah's tourism industry over the past decade has improved rural economies, stimulated entrepreneurship and small business development, in turn, strengthening our rural communities," said Gov. Gary Herbert.

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, tourism is a key job creator in rural Utah counties, employing 41.9 percent of the workforce in Garfield County, 35.6 percent in Grand County and 32.8 percent in Kane County.

Tourist visitation to Utah hit an all-time high in 2012 with 23.5 million visitors enjoying Utah's five national parks, 14 ski areas and scenic byways.

"Visitors to the state contributed $960 million in state and local taxes last year," said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED). "This new capital infusion is used to fund education, build roads and improve the quality of life for every resident."

2012, Utah tourism by the numbers:

  • Travelers and tourists spent $7.4 billion in 2012, a 7.8 percent increase over 2011.
  • Last year, domestic and international visitation climbed 6.4 percent to 23.5 million.
  • Travelers in 2012 contributed $960 million to state and local taxes, providing every Utah household with an estimated $1,076 tax relief.
  • There are an estimated 127,781 tourism-related jobs statewide, a 3 percent increase from the year before.
  • Utah's five national parks, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion, continue to draw visitors from around the world, topping 6.5 million visits in 2012.
  • Utah's 14 ski resorts had more than 4 million skier days in 2012, up 6 percent from 2011

Six counties where tourism employs more than one quarter of the workforce:

  • Garfield: 41.9 percent
  • Summit: 38.5 percent
  • Grand: 35.6 percent
  • Kane: 32.8 percent
  • Wayne: 29.3 percent
  • Daggett: 28.9 percent

Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services

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