WYOMING — A major player in Wyoming’s tourism industry, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails boasts a visitation of more than 4.4 million visitors while generating a projected economic impact of nearly $500 million to the state during 2019. Tourism is Wyoming’s second-largest industry, supporting more than 32,000 Wyoming jobs and generating more than $200 million in tax revenue in 2019. As such, Governor Mark Gordon signed a proclamation this morning declaring this the week of National Travel and Tourism Week.

Efforts are recognized during Wyoming State Park, Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Day, May 7, a part of the Wyoming Office of Tourism National Travel and Tourism Week 2020 celebration.

Numbers are projected to be lower this year with uncertainties regarding COVID-19.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude for the patience of those businesses dependent on this industry, which has been severely disrupted worldwide by COVID-19,” Wyoming Governor, Mark Gordon said. “I am eager for Park County to help welcome the first visitors back to Yellowstone National Park, and for Wyoming to resume its place as a premier destination for both U.S. and international visitors when it is safe to do so.

Last year’s numbers are a two percent increase over 2018 and a six percent change from the previous five-year average.

State Parks and Historic Sites registered the highest percentage of increased visitation during 2019 were the Oregon Trail Ruts (26%), Sinks Canyon (19%), South Pass City (17%), Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (16%) and Edness Kimball Wilkins (13%). Hot Springs State Park was the most visited site.

September continued to be the busiest month at Wyoming Historic Sites with 61,156 visitors while visitors enjoyed Wyoming’s State Parks the most in July, 727,041.

“The Wyoming State Parks contribution to the tourism industry provides a true Wyoming experience,” Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Darin Westby said. “Additionally, Wyoming’s State Historic Sites tell the story of what Wyoming is and is really about.”