Whether enjoying the arches in Grand County, boating the turquoise waters of Bear Lake in Rich County, exploring the sandstone kingdoms of Washington County or skiing the powdery slopes of Summit County, tourists visited every county in Utah in 2013. Those visits propelled economic activity, according to research recently published by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, or BEBR, at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
BEBR published 29 travel and tourism county profiles, each of which provides the county’s statewide ranking, attractions and visitation, a table and charts depicting trends in tourism-related tax revenues, taxable sales, employment, wages and hotel-performance measures. In addition, BEBR created a document ranking Utah counties by share of leisure and hospitality employment to total employment and a profile comparing Utah to the rest of the country.
“Each of Utah’s 29 counties has something unique to offer visitors,” said Jennifer Leaver, BEBR research analyst. “In 2013, every county in Utah showed percent increases from the previous year (2012) in at least one tourism-related area, while Box Elder, Cache, Daggett, Duchesne, Grand, Iron, Rich, Utah and Washington counties experienced year-over percent increases in all reviewed tourism-related areas.”
Based on Utah State Tax Commission, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Utah Department of Workforce Services and Smith Travel Research data, Leaver found that Utah’s counties experienced the greatest year-over increases in tourism-related tax revenues and taxable sales, modest year-over increases in leisure and hospitality jobs and wages, and slight growth in hotel-performance measures.
When taking tourism-related tax revenues, taxable sales, employment, wages and hotel performance into consideration, Rich, Utah, Washington, Wasatch and Davis counties showed the grea