The Saratoga Sun -

Tourism a good return on investment

 


Editor,

As the second-largest industry in the state, it’s no surprise that tourism is big business in Wyoming. During 2018, Wyoming welcomed more than 8.9 million overnight visitors who spent more than $3.8 billion dollars in our state, while generating $196 million in local and state tax revenues. And while the tourism industry pumps substantial funds into the Wyoming economy, it also directly supports 32,290 full and part-time Wyoming jobs—which account for 8 percent of the state’s workforce.

Here in The Upper North Platte Valley, our residents and locally owned businesses work together to make Wyoming a place that we’re proud to call home, while also creating a welcoming destination for out-of-state visitors. In the Valley, tourism is important to us as it supports local jobs and has a direct impact on our tax base.

While many of us who work in this industry are aware of the power of travel in Wyoming and Carbon County, as we head into another busy summer it’s important to note that tourism is a key economic engine. In Carbon County, out-of-state travelers spend $195.1 million while supporting 1,520 jobs. These dollars fuel our local businesses and vital public services, improving the quality of life for residents. Without the jobs generated by the travel industry, our unemployment rate of 4 percent would have been 20 percent.

Every dollar that is invested in tourism marketing in Wyoming returns $289 to state and local municipalities in direct visitor spending which shows that investments made in tourism marketing—at state, regional and local levels—are dollars well spent. In fact, if it were not for the taxes generated by the travel industry, the average household in Carbon County would pay $1,551 more in taxes for existing government services.

As we look back on where the travel, tourism and hospitality industry has been, it’s vital that we applaud the efforts made by state, regional and local marketing organizations that work hard to have Wyoming be a top-of-mind destination for travelers. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we embrace and support those organizations as we continue to grow the visitor economy—one that has a direct impact on our daily lives—in Wyoming and look for ways to invest in tourism. After all, investing in tourism is investing in the Good Times Valley!

Stacy Crimmins

Chief Executive Officer,

Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

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