CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Office of Tourism released its 2020 Economic Impact of Travel in Wyoming report, conducted by Dean Runyan Associates. According to the report, in a year when travel was limited, and socially distant destinations were in greater demand, Wyoming’s travel economy only declined by 23 percent, whereas the U.S. travel economy declined by 36 percent.
The newly released study includes detailed state economic data, along with specified data for all 23 counties, including traveler spending, visitor volume and industry-related jobs.
“Last year was unprecedented for the world and travel industry, but as the least populated state, Wyoming was uniquely positioned as a destination for those looking to enjoy wide-open spaces in a socially-distant environment,” Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism said in a press release. “Our local communities and businesses worked hard this past year to safely welcome visitors, and we are now in a much better position because of their resiliency.”
2020 ECONOMIC IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS:
— Wyoming welcomed 6.9 million overnight visitors, who spent more than $3.05 billion.
— Visitor spending directly affected Wyoming’s economy by generating $160 million in local and state tax revenues, which helps fund jobs and public programs.
— Each Wyoming household would have to pay approximately $678 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry.
— Travelers to the state supported 40,720 jobs in Wyoming, including 28,630 directly in the travel industry and 12,090 in other industries.
— Travel spending generated $935.2 million in direct payroll.
— Travel and tourism supports 7% of total employment in Wyoming, or 1 in every 10 jobs.
— Leisure and hospitality is the largest employer among all private industries in Wyoming.
The full 2020 report can be found at https://ss-usa.s3.amazonaws.com/c/308476362/media/17346086f39614c4e61413173479784/WY_County_Detail_2020.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sharpspring&sslid=MzM3NbI0MrIwszS3BAA&sseid=MzIyMDG1MLAwMwcA&jobid=c006c3a6-2fba-4bd8-ac80-0877c1fae179.
The report was released ahead of Wyoming’s participation in National Travel and Tourism Week on May 2-8, honoring the “Power of Travel” as this year’s theme. Held annually by the U.S. Travel Association, National Travel and Tourism Week advocates and celebrates the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being.
To kick off the summer travel season, Wyoming Office of Tourism will launch its second year of the WY Responsibly campaign. The campaign aims to educate and facilitate responsible travel throughout Wyoming’s natural spaces, wildlife encounters and community engagement. Wyoming Office of Tourism united with 10 national-and state-level outdoor agencies to provide resources to have a sustainable and enjoyable outdoor experience, including:
— PLAN AHEAD: Before traveling, make reservations at hotels and campgrounds with reservable sites, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.
— BE HEALTHY: In the spirit of collective wellness, respect posted signs and announcements for health guidelines and requirements to ensure the safety of our communities. Masks are required on all federal lands including national parks.
— BE FLEXIBLE AND INFORMED: Plan ahead and be flexible with your experiences. For example, if a parking lot is full in a state or federal park, be ready to seek different trails and lesser-known experiences.
— KEEP IT CLEAN: While experiencing the public land, be prepared to not have access to trash cans or restrooms, especially when recreating in national forests.
— BE FIRE AWARE: Respect fire bans in place, choose a campsite with pre-existing fire rings whenever possible and never leave your fire unattended.
— KEEP YOUR DISTANCE: Co-exist responsibly with Wyoming’s wildlife and keep your distance. For the safety of wildlife and visitors, keep at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other wildlife.
To learn more about traveling safely and responsibly throughout Wyoming, visit www.travelwyoming.com/wy-responsibly. Travelers and locals can share their experience and on social media by using #WYResponsibly and tagging @visitwyoming.
ABOUT THE WYOMING OFFICE OF TOURISM
The Wyoming Office of Tourism is the only state agency charged with promoting and marketing Wyoming as a vacation destination to domestic and international travelers. The ninth-largest state in terms of area, Wyoming is also the least populated state in the country with an estimated 580,000 residents. Wyoming is home to many firsts, including the country’s first national park (Yellowstone), first national monument (Devils Tower) and first national forest (Shoshone). These special places, along with other natural wonders like Grand Teton National Park and the Bighorn Mountains as well as Wyoming’s heartfelt cowboy hospitality, welcome millions of visitors annually.
To learn more about Wyoming, visit www.TravelWyoming.com.