Blog Post

Insight: COVID-19 Pandemic Creates Unprecedented Challenges for Utah’s Tourism Industry

By: Jennifer Leaver

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

Right now, my husband is at the kitchen table typing on his laptop, my son is sitting at the kitchen counter working on a math-based web platform, and my teenage daughter is in her bedroom video chatting with her science class. I am stationed at a small desk in my bedroom, our two cats snoozing peacefully on the bed beside me. As for many, this has become the new normal. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, not everyone has the option or ability to “work from home”—particularly those who work in a variety of service-oriented sectors that support our travel and tourism economy.

Tourism Economics (TE) recently forecasted COVID-19’s potential impacts on the international travel market. TE predicts a 31% year-over-year decline in global travel in 2020. This includes a 75