As warmer weather signals the start of the spring and summer tourism season, the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) today released “The State of Utah’s Tourism, Travel and Recreation Industry,” a report providing a comprehensive overview of tourism, travel and recreation-related spending, employment, wages, visitation, sales, tax revenue and industry performance in Utah.

“Utah’s tourism-related industries have experienced strong post-recession comebacks,” said BEBR research analyst Jennifer Leaver. “In particular, leisure and hospitality sector jobs and sales have experienced healthy gains since 2009, as have tourism-related tax revenues.” Looking ahead to 2015, BEBR forecasts 3–4 percent increases in tourism-related jobs and wages and 6–8 percent increases in tourism-related sales and tax revenues.

“Not only does the tourism industry provide jobs and wages to Utahns,” said Natalie Gochnour, an associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business, “it adds to the versatility, stability and diversity of the Utah economy.”

Some highlights of the report:

  • Tourists and travelers spent a record $7.5 billion in the Utah economy during 2013.
  • Utah nonresident spending of $6.4 billion benefited the Utah economy in a similar way to merchandise exports. If tourism were an export, it would be the state’s second-largest export behind primary metals ($8.3 billion) and ahead of computers and electronics ($2.6 billion).
  • Traveler spending generated a record $1.02 billion in total state and local tax revenues.
  • In 2013, Utah’s tourism industry supported an estimated 132,681 total jobs in the Utah economy.
  • Approximately one in every 10 jobs in the state’s economy can be attributed to the tourism industry, directly or indirectly.
  • Utah ranks higher than California, Texas, Illinois and New York in travel-generated employment share.
  • Between 2009 and 2013, tourism-related jobs and wage