HEALTH

State leaders trying to mitigate coronavirus impact on tourism

Mar 4, 2020, 7:42 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:19 am
State leaders trying to mitigate coronavirus impact on tourism...
(Hundreds gather under Capitol rotunda for Tourism Day. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Hundreds gather under Capitol rotunda for Tourism Day. Credit: Paul Nelson)

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – How can the state keep $9.75 billion tourism industry healthy in Utah while the coronavirus is having a bad effect on travel?  State leaders say they’ve already seen the coronavirus impact on tourism, and they’re trying to prevent the virus from keeping people away.

There is only one confirmed case of the coronavirus in Utah, and that man is being quarantined and treated at Intermountain Hospital.  However, even though there isn’t any proof of an outbreak in the Beehive State, the coronavirus has already had a negative impact on the number of people visiting.

Utah Office of Tourism Executive Director Vicki Varela says, “Conferences are being cancelled.  Trips are being cancelled.  We just measure how much [impact the virus has].”

Wednesday was “Tourism Day” at the Capitol Rotunda.  Travel and tourism agencies from all over the state were there to promote their destinations.  State workers in several different offices will be paying close attention to the spread of the illness and its effect on tourism.  Governor Gary Herbert says people all over the country are unsure what to do and where to go.

Herbert says, “The uncertainty of it, right now, is really going to stop people from coming.  So, we’re going to have to see what happens over the next six months, but it’s certainly not going to be a positive thing in the standpoint of tourism and travel.”

Herbert calls tourism money “clean dollars” since they provide a lot of tax relief to the average Utahn.  He says the average household would have to pay roughly $12 hundred more in taxes every year without tourist money.  So, the state wants to protect and boost those funds as much as they can.

However, there could be a positive outcome over these public health concerns.  Herbert says they could promote the state to other cities across the U.S. if people don’t want to travel overseas.

“We’ll probably have people from America want to come here.  They’re concerned about traveling outside of our borders, so they’ll say, ‘Where can we travel inside America.  Hey, Utah!  Five national parks, 43 state parks and wonderful, friendly people,” Herbert says.

Will state workers cancel international travel over coronavirus concerns?  Herbert can’t say if that will happen with any degree of certainty.  However, trips can be cancelled if the need arises.

He says, “We don’t want to stop doing what we’re doing because we’re very successful in international trade.”

 

Related articles:

Coronavirus infected Utah man claims he and his wife are getting threats

Romney says coronavirus stockpiling should have begun “decades ago”

James Bond film release pushed back due to coronavirus

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Follow @amandadickson...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: 6 thoughts we have before we call in sick to work

We all have those thoughts before we call in sick. From the paranoid to the considerate, here are some thoughts about making that call.
14 hours ago
Less than half of infants around the world are breastfed as recommended, and baby formula is in hig...
Janelle Chavez, CNN

Health experts call for end to “exploitative baby formula marketing tactics”

The report, published Tuesday in The Lancet, extensively outlines "predatory tactics" in the baby formula marketing industry.
14 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Aimee Cobabe

Equality Utah supports bill clarifying rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors

Equality Utah is supporting a bill adjusting rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors.
3 days ago
When inversions bring pollution to the ground, we breathe it in. That makes it easier to get sick a...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is that why people are coughing, or is it just the regular cold and flu season?
3 days ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
4 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
State leaders trying to mitigate coronavirus impact on tourism