Wyoming releases 2018 travel economic impact data

WYOMING — Tourism is still the No. 2 economic-generating industry in Wyoming next to minerals extraction, but it’s gaining ground every year.

Wyoming’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry continues to grow, with travel spending by visitors reaching more than $3.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 6.8 percent from 2017, according to the 2018 Wyoming Travel Impacts Report performed by Dean Runyan Associates.

The newly released study shows record visitor spending and economic impact in 2018.

“Throughout 2018, Wyoming’s tourism industry maintained its excellence in welcoming visitors with the state’s beautiful scenery and innovative events,” said Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “Our research highlights successes from the Wyoming Office of Tourism, local lodging tax boards and private businesses.”

The report, which was released today, shows a steady increase in traveler spending and visitor volume.

The report also includes detailed state and county economic impact numbers showcasing the direct effects of travel in the Cowboy State.

That’s WY campaign is now in its fourth year. (@sessionsb, Wyoming Office of Tourism)

Quick facts:

  • Wyoming welcomed 8.9 million overnight visitors in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017.
  • Domestic and international visitors spent approximately $3.8 billion while traveling in Wyoming.
  • Travel spending in 2018 saw an increase of 6.8 percent over the previous year.
  • The travel industry in Wyoming continues to see a steady increase in visitor spend, with an average increase of 3.7 percent annually since 2007.
  • The leisure and hospitality industry directly supports 32,290 jobs in Wyoming, making it the largest private sector employer in the state.
  • Travel spending generates around $196 million in local and state tax revenue.

“Our efforts continue to expand a welcome to people from around the nation and the world each year,” Shober continued. “In 2019, we will continue to reach visitors, especially as we look forward to the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage and the grand reopening of our historic capitol.”

In 2019, Wyoming will be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. The Wyoming Office of Tourism will be encouraging visitors to experience places and events related to Wyoming’s 150th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, from women’s retreats to speeches about Wyoming women’s history, the celebration will occur across the state.

The Wyoming Office of Tourism is also in its fourth year of the “That’s WY” campaign featuring creative designs targeting adventure lovers, family travelers and those in love with western culture.

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