One of Utah's biggest industries cranks up for its busy season this week and deserves all the help it can get from the state's residents who also share in the wealth produced by this highly visible and ubiquitous industry - tourism.
Last year, tourists from the other 49 states and abroad put $2 billion into Utah's economy, resulting in $107 million in taxes that flowed into state coffers.As we celebrate Tourism Week in Utah through May 23, it would be a good idea for all Utahns to remember their stake in this large industry and the benefits it brings the state.
Rick Davis, president of the Salt Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, offers three things Utahns can do to assist the industry that provides 47,000 of the state's residents with jobs.
1. Be nice to tourists. Utah's scenic beauty and the friendliness of its residents are rated the top attractions for out-of-state visitors.
2. Utahns should consider spending their vacation dollars seeing Utah's scenic wonders first.
3. Bring an affinity group or organization to Utah for a convention. Convention delegates spend the most money of all the visitors because they tend to stay at the top hotels and frequent the most expensive shops and restaurants.
Of the 10.9 million visitors to the Beehive State last year, 300,000 were foreigners and going the extra mile to make them feel comfortable is a Utah tradition that pays big dividends.
Utah is an ideal state to attract tourists and their dollars because it is the gateway to 10 national parks that can be reached within one day's drive. It's appropriate that all those involved in the tourism industry be recognized this week for their efforts to heighten local awareness of the importance of bringing tourists to the state.
One of the goals of the week is to remind Utah's citizens that the many elements that attract visitors, including the state's rich history, superior skiing, scenic wonders, nationally renowned arts and friendly people, are things that make Utah indeed, a pretty, great state.