The tourism sector of Wyoming’s economy posted a banner year in 2012, with travel spending and tax revenues generated by that spending surpassing previous records, according to report prepared for the state tourism office.
Travel spending totaled $3.1 billion in 2012, eclipsing the previous mark of $2.9 billion, Dean Runyan Associates reported. The spending was driven in part by an increase in the number of visitors to the state, which grew from 8.34 million in 2011 to 8.67 million in 2012 — an increase of 4 percent, the report stated.
Preliminary assessments show local and state tax revenues generated by travel in Wyoming were up 7.6 percent over 2011, with $128 million in tax revenues surpassing 2011’s record of $119 million, the report said.
The full report can be found at www.wyomingofficeoftourism.gov.
Diane Shober, director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, said the numbers are reassuring, “The fact that the number of visitors is up along with visitor spending has a very positive impact on the economy. It is a strong indication that our well-placed marketing efforts are working.”
The state tourism office will continue to hit major markets like Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, Kansas City and Salt Lake this spring through a series of print, TV and out of home or billboard ads. “We have a comprehensive public relations, social media and advertising plan laid out and we’re going to see a really strong national advertising campaign beginning in March and look forward to driving another successful season in 2013,” Shober said.
“The dollars spent by visitors have strengthened Wyoming’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from gas stations to retail stores and generating tax revenues to support our state,” Shober said.