Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tourism is a major economic boost in rural areas in states like Utah

Tourism—big business in most states—is vital in rural areas in some states, especially in the West. In Utah, where 91 percent of the population lives in U.S. Census Bureau defined urban areas, rural areas in 2013 received an estimated 46 percent of total county sales tax revenue from tourism, says a study by the University of Utah. In comparison, the urban Wasatch Front (Salt Lake City, Provo), which consists of 75.6 percent of the state's population, got 20 percent of total county sales tax revenue from tourism.

"The top 10 counties impacted by tourism-related sales tax revenues were all rural counties," reports the University of Utah. Overall, one in 10 jobs in the state is in tourism. In rural areas, "an estimated 13 percent of private jobs are directly tourism-supported, compared to just 5 percent in the more urban parts of the state." (University of Utah graphic)

The report states: "Utah’s five national parks and eight of its ten national places spent upwards of $611 million in 2013, which supported close to 8,000 jobs in surrounding gateway communities." Overall estimates say that tourism and travel supported 132,681 direct, indirect and induced state jobs in 2013, said travel research firm TNS Global.

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