Wyoming Releases 2017 Travel Economic Impact Numbers: Traveler Spending and Visitor Volume Saw Increases
April 30, 2018—Cheyenne, Wyoming—Wyoming’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry continues to grow, with travel spending by visitors reaching more than $3.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.9 percent from 2016, according to the 2017 Wyoming Travel Impacts Report done by Dean Runyon Associates.
“Wyoming had a strong tourism year in 2017,” said Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “The 2017 total solar eclipse had an impact on these numbers – especially as it increased visitor spending by around two percent – and it was amazing to see that celestial event bolster our travel and tourism industry throughout the state.”
The report, which was released today, shows a steady increase in traveler spending and visitor volume, as well as an increase in the number of full and part-time jobs that are directly supported by the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
The report, which is available here, also includes detailed state and county economic impact numbers showcasing the direct effects of travel in the Cowboy State.
- Wyoming welcomed 8.7 million overnight visitors in 2017.
- Domestic and international visitors to Wyoming spent more than $3.5 billion.
- Travel spending in 2017 saw an increase of 8.9 percent over the previous year; approximately two percent of this increase is attributed to eclipse-oriented spending from August 19-23, 2017.
- The travel industry in Wyoming continues to see a steady increase in visitor spend, with an average increase of 3.4 percent annually since 2007.
- The travel, tourism and hospitality industry directly support 32,120 jobs in Wyoming.
- Travel spending generates around $188 million in local and state tax revenue.
“We knew that we were going to have strong increases in 2017,” said Shober. “And while we did see a nice impact from the eclipse, this report shows that even without the incredible, celestial event that was the eclipse, more people are choosing Wyoming as a vacation destination.”
More than a quarter of a million people traveled in Wyoming for the eclipse, with many of them noting that they would come back to Wyoming for a return trip.
“Our research shows that our target audiences are becoming more aware of Wyoming,” added Shober. “It’s now our job to keep the momentum that we saw in 2017 continuing forward in a positive way into 2018 and beyond, especially as we look forward to the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2019.”
The Wyoming Office of Tourism is currently in its third year of the “That’s WY” campaign with advertising running in key regional and national markets featuring creative designed to target adventure lovers, family travelers and western culture aficionados.
The full 2017 Wyoming Travel Impacts Report can be found here.