OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Utah Office of Tourism awards $4.7 million to boost economy

Sep 21, 2023, 3:11 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2023, 11:05 am

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Office of Tourism is awarding millions of dollars to local groups to hel...

People watch the sunrise at Bryce Canyon National Park on May 18. Utah's tourism industry generated nearly $12 billion in visitor spending last year, according to recent data. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Office of Tourism is awarding millions of dollars to local groups to help bring in more tourism dollars.

Phenomicon in Vernal and the National Ability Center in Park City are two of the 47 groups around Utah that each got a slice of $4.7 million to market their events however they see fit.

Groups who get the grants must go through a rigorous application process.

Utah’s Office of Tourism Managing Director Vicky Verela said in the long run, this saves taxpayers money because tourism dollars boost our economy.

“The visitor economy saves all of us a lot of money,” she said. “About $1,200 plus per household in tax savings because of the visitors coming in and having experiences.”

Other activities, including the Kimball Arts Festival in Park City and the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in Logan bring people to Utah from all over the world. And when they visit they also spend on hotels, food, and other activities. Which brings in more tourism tax dollars. 

“They stay overnight. They eat at restaurants they buy in stores, and that generates a lot of tax dollars that saves all of us from having to contribute other types of tax.”

Verela said there are two takeaways for Utah residents.

“One, the visitor economy is improving my quality of life,” she said. “Two there’s lots of interesting places I may not have seen and I want to go have some Utah adventures.”

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Utah Office of Tourism awards $4.7 million to boost economy