Salt Lake City, Utah (May 10, 2017) – Travelers to Utah spent a record $8.17 billion in the state in 2015 and generated an estimated $1.15 billion in total state and local tax revenue, according to a recent study completed by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
“This was a leading year for Utah tourism,” said Jennifer Leaver, research analyst at the Gardner Policy Institute. “Travelers and tourists visited our ski resorts and national parks in record numbers, leaving more dollars in Utah than ever before.”
Travel and tourism generated an estimated 142,500 direct, indirect and induced jobs in 2015 and around $4.3 billion in wages. Travel and tourism-supported jobs grew 12 percent and tourism-related wages increased 20 percent from 2011 to 2015. Tourism-related sales tax revenues saw healthy increases over this period as well, including a 12 percent increase in municipal transient room tax revenue, a 10 percent increase in county transient room tax revenue and an 8 percent increase in resort communities’ sales tax revenue.
“In a year of fairly disappointing global economic growth, Utah attracted more spending by international visitors than ever before,” said Juliette Tennert, director of economic and public policy research at the Gardner Policy Institute. “Utah’s top international leisure markets are Canada, China and France. Chinese visitors spent an estimated 40 percent more in 2015 than in the previous year.”’
Utah’s “Mighty 5®” national parks experienced record visitation in both 2015 (8.4 million visits) and 2016 (10.1 million visits). According to the National Park Service, non-local visitation to Utah’s national parks and places generate over $800 million in spending and support over 14,000 Utah jobs.
The full report is available here and includes the most recent travel and tourism-related data that were available at the time of publication; in most cases, data reflect 2015 activity.