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Utah tourism generated a record $11.98 billion in visitor spending in 2022

Salt Lake City—Visitors spent a record $11.98 billion in Utah’s economy in 2022, generating 98,600 direct travel-related jobs and $1.37 billion in direct state and local tax revenue, according to the latest annual industry report released today by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The report notes that overall, state visitation and other tourism-related economic indicators remained strong despite surging inflation, high gas prices, and fears of a possible recession.

“Utah’s travel and tourism industry is a key contributor to the state’s economy, fostering job creation, supporting local businesses, and generating tax revenue,” says Jennifer Leaver, Senior Tourism Analyst for the Gardner Institute. “Visitor spending, tax and hotel revenue, airport travel, park visitation, and skier days have all surpassed or nearly surpassed previous records, which all help boost Utah’s elite economy and sustain the economic vitality of the region.”

Key findings from the report include the following:

  • Spending – Visitors spent a record $11.98 billion in 2022, which led to $23.38 billion in total output for Utah’s economy when combined with indirect and induced effects.
  • Jobs – Utah’s travel and tourism industry generated 98,600 direct jobs in 2022. The industry’s economic activity supported an additional 53,200 jobs through indirect and induced effects. About 9.0% of Utah’s total jobs were either directly or indirectly supported by visitor spending.
  • Tax Revenue –$11.98 billion in direct visitor spending, which led to $23.38 billion in total output, resulted in an estimated $2.12 billion in total tax revenue, including $1.09 billion in state and $1.03 billion in local tax revenue.
  • Accommodations – Year-over transient room tax revenue increased an estimated 5.2% in 2023. Year-over hotel occupancy remained flat while hotel capacity increased 2.3%. Average daily hotel room rates and revenue per available room were up 3.9% and 3.2%, respectively.
  • Airport Travel – Utah’s Salt Lake City International Airport reported a record 26.9 million passengers in 2023.
  • Park Visitation – Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks reported 10.6 million visitors, and state parks reported a record 12 million visitors in 2023. In addition, Utah’s national places, including monuments, recreation areas, and historic sites, reported a record 7.3 million visitors in 2023. Utah’s year-over national park and state park visitation were up 1.2% and 20.7%, respectively.
  • Ski Industry – Utah boasted record snowfall (903”), skier days (7.1 million), and spending ($2.64 billion) during the 2022-2023 ski season.

“Our industry is committed to building a perpetual visitor economy, uplifting businesses and communities,” said Natalie Randall, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “Tourism represents the pride we have in our state from our distinctive landscapes to our unique offerings. We are optimistic that as we continue to prioritize quality visitation and community-led vision we can continue to inspire visitors and residents alike.”

The full report is now available online.

Nick Thiriot, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, 801-842-9150, nick.thiriot@utah.edu

Anna Loughridge, Utah Office of Tourism, 385-212-9325, [email protected]