A snapshot look at one of Utah’s most vibrant, accretive economic drivers: Tourism.

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According to new research released by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), tourism accounts for a large part of Utah’s economy. This is most evident in Utah’s rural areas, which are very attractive to tourists. Jennifer Leaver at BEBR said, “Rural Utah is characterized by a large portion of publicly-owned land, abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, and smaller population bases. This combination of factors makes these areas more economically dependent on tourism.”

The Wasatch front dominates these numbers, but comparatively, the more rural areas have a larger share. This means that they are much more dependent on it and can get hit hard if tourism drops. In 2013, about 46% of total county sales tax revenue was tourism related, compared to only 20% along the Wasatch Front.

1 out of every 10 jobs in Utah can be attributed to tourism. In the rural areas, about 13% of private jobs are directly related to tourism, whereas about 5% on the Wasatch Front. In 2013, the tourism industry was Utah’s second largest export, with $6.4 billion in non-resident visitor spending.

Using Tourism to Your Advantage

These statistics are very relevant to all Utah companies as it affects the entire economy. If tourism drops, less money will be circulated in Utah, hitting everyone’s bottom line. Depending on what industry you operate in, there may be ways you can adapt your business to capitalize on this large market. Consider promotions or discounts catered to travelers who want the local feel without draining their bank account. Consider services or products that could be Utah-unique that only tourists that come to Utah can obtain. Get your business in tourist pamphlets and websites. Just a few entrepreneurial ideas.