20.2 million visited Utah in 2010, up 4.2 percent

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 29 2011 5:50 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Tourism revenue is up in Utah, according to information released by the Utah Office of Tourism.

Total spending by travelers and tourists in Utah climbed 4.7 percent in 2010 to $6.53 billion.

Total direct state and local taxes generated by traveler spending was up 4.4 percent to $841 million in 2010, including $500 million in state taxes and $341 in local, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget reported.

In addition, the number of domestic and international visitors also jumped to 20.2 million last year, an increase of 4.2 percent.

“Tourism is a vital industry for Utah, and these increased revenue figures bode well for our state," said Gov. Gary Herbert. "We expect tourism to continue its growth trajectory as more and more people become aware of all Utah has to offer its visitors."

Information released by the state also showed that travel and recreation-related employment accounted for 122,839 jobs in 2010 — up 2.2 percent from the previous year. The data also indicated that visitation at Utah's national and state parks grew last year — with national park visits up 1.2 percent in 2010 and state park visits increasing 1.3 percent for the period.

“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 ski resorts, new luxury properties, state-of-art natural history museums, and other new attractions.”

Jasen Lee

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