Utah has a diverse tourism, travel and recreation industry, which generates jobs and income for Utah residents and produces tax revenue for the state. In fact, tourism is Utah’s second largest export industry, with approximately one in ten Utah jobs attributed to the tourism industry.
Utah has a variety of recreational opportunities and cultural amenities that attract visitors on a year-round basis. In addition to being the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics and home to 14 ski resorts, Utah has five national parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas, one national historic site and 43 state parks, which draw millions of travelers and tourists on an annual basis. Likewise, Utah’s Historic Temple Square, the worldwide icon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attracts three to five million visitors a year. Utah also hosts several popular arts events, such as the Sundance Film Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Moab Music Festival, and the Utah Arts Festival, in addition to well-attended athletic events, meetings, conventions and trade shows.
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute tracks statewide and regional trends in Utah’s tourism economy, producing tourism reports, research briefs, and snapshots throughout the year. The institute authors the tourism chapter for the Economic Report to the Governor and offers consultation, provides expert commentary, and presents on topics related to the tourism industry.