Tourism up in 2010 |

Tourism up in 2010

Gina Barker, The Park Record

Things are looking rosy this year for those in Utah’s tourism industry after a report released by the Utah Office of Tourism reported last year’s traveler spending was on the rise.

According to the Utah Office of Tourism, revenue is up for the tourism industry as Utah continues to see more out-of-state visitors. In 2010, tourism spending went up by an estimated 4.7 percent, up to $6.525 billion, said the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Taxes generated by traveler spending increased by 4.4 percent to $841 million in 2010.

"Our marketing is working," said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. "The awareness of Utah is up as the state is receiving increased worldwide publicity for improvements at Utah’s ski resorts, new luxury properties, state-of-art natural history museums, and other new attractions."

For Park City, a community reliant on tourism, good numbers in 2010 and reports of solid hotel bookings for the upcoming year could mean that upward trend isn’t about to slow down.

"It’s exciting to see the continued growth in our tourism industry and it’s important to note the positive impact that this will have on both our urban and rural communities in Utah," said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. "Tourism continues to be an important component of Governor Herbert’s challenge to all Utahns to accelerate the creation of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days."

The number of visitors was at 20.2 million last year, up by 4.2 percent from 2009. And with more visitors supporting the state, travel and recreation-based jobs saw a similar increase of 2.2 percent in growth.

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"Tourism is a vital industry for Utah, and these increased revenue figures bode well for our state. They are evidence that Utah continues to gain worldwide recognition as a premier vacation destination," said Governor Gary Herbert in a press release. "We expect tourism to continue its growth trajectory as more and more people become aware of all Utah has to offer its visitors."