Salt Lake City - Out of State Visitors

Part
01
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Part
01

Travel to Utah

Out-of-state tourists make up a large share of the tourism revenue for Utah. High spending in niche areas has given the state a boost along with rural sightseeing and skiing. Out-of-state visitors will spend a minimum of two weeks planning their stay, with the majority taking more than a month.

Out-of-State Tourists

  • In 2018, only 17% of out-of-state travelers were visiting Utah for the first time. This is down from 27% in 2017.
  • Out-of-state visitors spent $8.38 billion in Utah in 2018.

High Spending in Niche Areas

  • Utah has put great effort into attracting visitors to their parks, gardens, adventure sports and recreation. These activities do not attract the majority of visitors, but are a substantial source of revenue since they are more expensive to visit.
  • The average spend per trip for parks and gardens was $867.
  • Adventure sports had an average of $880.
  • Sports and recreation came in the highest, with $1,070 spent per trip.

Rural Sightseeing

  • 2018 saw an increase in visitors to lesser known, rural areas. Lesser known state parks and national monuments saw an increase in visitors. This is seen as a positive when it comes to bringing in repeat visitors.
  • Out-of-state visitors are more likely to choose outdoor recreational activities than in state visitors.
  • A detailed breakdown of sightseeing attractions by popularity may be viewed here.

Out-of-State Visitor Spending

  • Out-of-state visitors spend far more per person ($719) on their visits than in state visitors ($232).

Shared Economy Lodging & Rideshares

  • Shared economy lodging is the least popular means of lodging, with 32% of visitors that are out of state choosing this option. It is gaining in popularity though in the last few years.
  • Rideshares are chosen by only 23% of visitors. This would make sense, considering the majority travel to Utah by vehicle.

Ski Industry

  • Utah has 14 ski resorts, and is home to the nation's largest ski resort, Park City. There are ten resorts less than an hour from the Salt Lake International Airport.
  • During the 2017-2018 ski season they had 4.15 million skier days and brought in $1.322 billion in visitor spending.
  • The average lodging rate was $431 per night.
  • 33% of the visitors to ski indicated this was their first time visiting Utah.
  • The average snowboarder/skier was 40.3 years old and stayed 5.8 nights.
  • Out-of-state visitors made up the lion's share of the revenue for this industry, spending more than four times that of in-state visitors ($1,068/$254). Lodging, lift passes, and restaurants were the biggest spending areas for visitors.
  • Out-of-state visitors comprised 63% of the skiers/snowboarders in 2018.

Traveler Volumes

  • Although traveler volumes remain consistent throughout the year, it is no surprise that spring and summer sees the highest number of visitors.

Most Popular Utah Destinations

  • Salt Lake City is the most popular destination with 31% of the state's visitors. St. George attracts 20% of the state's visitors, followed by Provo (15%), Cedar City (10%), Zion/Springdale (8%), Park City (7%), Moab (6%), Logan (6%), Ogden (6%), and Bryce Canyon (5%).

Counties That Are Primarily Leisure & Hospitality

  • Daggett County, the least populated county, had 57% of their private jobs come from leisure and hospitality in 2017. Daggett borders Wyoming and Colorado and is best known for the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, a large draw for outdoor enthusiasts. Daggett County has been actively developing new trains and attempting to better promote their existing trails. Room rates and occupancy rates were not provided.
  • Garfield County had a 56.9% of their private jobs come from leisure and hospitality in 2017. Garfield County is home to Bryce Canyon National Park. Their average daily room rate is $114.29 and they have a 65.4% occupancy rate.
  • Grand County had 46.2% of their private jobs come from leisure and hospitality in 2017. Grand County is home to Moab and has plenty of hiking, river running, mountain biking, rock climbing and four-wheeler opportunities. Moab draws numerous international visitors. Grand County enjoys a 66.2% occupancy rate, with an average room rate of $149.49.

Planning

  • The average out-of-state visitor will book their visit within two weeks (29%) to three months of their stay. 14% will take between 2-4 weeks, 19% will take between 1-3 months, and 38% will spend over three months planning their trip.
  • The majority of their information will come from online sources, with social media being the least popular way to plan a trip.
Part
02
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Part
02

Insights - Travel to Utah

This section of research will focus on the marketing goals and efforts of Utah, which include continued pushes for more out-of-state visitors, along with international visitors, the Red Emerald Initiative, partnering with Brand USA, The Mighty Five initiative, and The Greatest Snow on Earth initiative. Some believe that marketing efforts should be redirected to less populated areas, as the infrastructure and county services are stretched to thin in many popular areas.

Increased Marketing Efforts & Specific Marketing Campaigns

Marketing Goals- Out-of-State Visitors

  • Marketing to increase out-of-state visitors will remain a priority, as they are a chief source of revenue. Utah will make an effort to increase repeat visits from out-of-state visitors by creating a lasting impression and improving overall experiences while visiting Utah.
  • Marketing will continue in areas that are not their primary draw, along with states that provide the most visitors, like California.
  • Marketing will focus on a more even distribution of people visiting throughout the state to reduce congestion at popular attractions. To do this, "The Road to Mighty" campaign was created to show visitors there is more to see than just the Mighty Five. They provide stories for inspiration and itineraries on their website.
  • Infrastructure improvements will be key to bringing in more tourism revenue.

Red Emerald Initiative

  • Red Emerald is an initiative, along with a branding and marketing plan for Utah. They feel their primary for years was to create awareness of the travel opportunities that Utah offered. This has been a multi-year campaign that has met with success. They received Fodor's award for the number one destination to visit in 2016. Now they are focusing on elevating the customer experience, and quality visitation over quantity.
  • Part of the initiative is the continued branding of Utah. They have used imagery and personal stories to capture the essence of Utah, and will continue to do so.
  • Utah has initiated The Mighty Five campaign, which is five national parks in five days. This campaign encourages visitors to visit Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reed, and Zion. Their website assists with planning an itinerary to see the Mighty Five.
  • They have also trademarked "The Greatest Snow on Earth", to highlight their winter skiing and snowboarding opportunities. They have enlisted the University of Utah to provide scientific proof that the combination of climate conditions make the Utah the ultimate location for snow activities. Their website provides visitors itineraries to plan their winter trips.
  • In an effort to get a higher quality of visitor, they are seeking travelers that travel "slowly and thoughtfully". This traveler will invest time and money for memorable experiences. To find these visitors, they are marketing to people as an antidote to stress and busyness of life. Utah will provide these people with a place to unplug and slow down. The end goal is to have repeat visitors with a deeper connection to Utah.

Brand USA

  • Utah partners with Brand USA to market their state to out of state and international visitors. They focus on four categories: "the USA campaigns, cooperative marketing, travel-trade initiatives, and media relations".
  • Utah is featured in their IMAX film entitled "National Parks Adventure", along with a BBC produced 12 part feature entitled "America Through Film".
  • Through this partnership, images of Utah have been placed in embassies and consulates in Canada, India, and Japan.
  • Brand USA also showcases several itineraries that feature performances by the Mormon Tabernalce Choir, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and highlights the local culinary scene.
  • "Brand USA frequently pushes Utah digital social content on platforms in 14 target markets in eight different languages."

Results of Increased Marketing

International Visitors

  • The 2002, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics put Utah on the map for international visitors, and the state has made every effort to maintain that momentum.
  • International tourism is also a revenue maker for Utah. Canada, China, France, UK, Australia, and Germany accounted for the most international tourism.
  • Chinese tourism has exploded in popularity growing from 11th in 2013 to second today.
  • The Mighty Five is one of the most popular draws for international visitors.
  • In 2015 alone, there were 793,000 international visitors that spent $769.7 million, a significant impact on the economy.
  • Efforts to bring in events like the Sundance Film Festival, along with Utah's abundance of natural assets, have led to this boom in international tourism.

Congestion & Infrastructure Overload

  • Some people believe marketing and branding has been a bit too successful. Areas like Moab are highly congested, making visiting sometimes less than optimal. Cars can be backed up for a mile to get into Arches National Park. Complaints of remote camping areas becoming "all-night discos", UTVs cluttering residential streets, and long wait times at popular residents are becoming a common occurrence.
  • In many areas, county services, roads, law enforcement, and utilities are overwhelmed. Many leaders feel the Transient Room Tax (TRT) should be devoted to these areas immediately.
  • Moab's City Council imposed a six-month moratorium on approving any new accommodations, in fear that their county services could simply not keep up with the pace.
Part
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Part
03

Percentage of Out-Of-State Visitors to Utah

Since 2013, the top states which draw out-of-state visitors to Utah are California, Idaho, and Colorado. The percentage of Utah's visitors from each year's top states to attract out-of-state tourists from 2013 to 2018 has been included in the attached spreadsheet.

Historical Data on Out-Of-State Tourists

  • In 2018, the top states other than Utah, which drew visitors were: California, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Washington Wyoming, Oregon, and Montana.
  • In 2017, the top states from which tourists visited Utah were: California, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and Montana. The top DMAs which drew visitors were Los Angeles, Denver, Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Las Vegas, and Phoenix/Prescott.
  • In 2016, the states which drew the most out-of-state visitors to Utah were: California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Texas, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, New York, Illinois, and Florida. The DMAs which drew the most visitors were Los Angeles, Denver, Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Las Vegas, Phoenix/Prescott, Billings, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago, and New York City.
  • In 2015, the top states other than Utah, which drew visitors were: California, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Ohio, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, and Texas. The top DMAs, outside of Utah, which drew tourists were Los Angeles, Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Spokane, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix/Prescott, San Francisco, Toledo, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, and Seattle/Tacoma.
  • In 2014, the top states from which tourists visited Utah were: California, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Ohio, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Please note that a 2014 report could not be located and thus data on the top DMAs was not available for this year.
  • In 2013, the states which drew the most out-of-state visitors to Utah were: California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, and New York. The top DMA's which drew visitors were Phoenix/Prescott, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, San Diego, Chicago, Boise, Waco/Temple/Bryan, and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Part
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Part
04

Demographics - Tourists to Utah

The average out-of-state tourist is almost 49 years old, is a female, married, and has a household income of over $90,000. One member of her family is likely to have a bachelor's degree. She is not traveling alone, and will enjoy the rural sightseeing, and state and national parks.

Age

  • The average age of the out-of-state visitor to Utah was 48.7 in 2018.
  • Colorado visitors had an average age of 45.5.
  • Arizona visitors had an average age of 46.4.
  • Idaho visitors had an average age of 47.9.
  • Wyoming visitors had an average age of 48.3.
  • Montana visitors had an average age of 48.6.
  • Nevada visitors had an average age of 47.2.

Gender

  • 40% of the out-of-state visitors are male.
  • 60% of the out-of-state visitors are female.
  • From Colorado, 41% were male, and 59% were female.
  • From Arizona, 42% were male, and 58% were female.
  • From Idaho, 39% were male, and 61% were female.
  • From Wyoming, 38% were male, and 62% were female.
  • From Montana, 35% were male, and 65% were female.
  • From Nevada, 47% were male, 63% were female.

Income Level

  • The average out-of-state visitor reported a household income of $93,300, which is higher than the in state visitor income of $60,100.
  • From Colorado, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $88,300.
  • From Arizona, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $87,600.
  • From Idaho, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $83,700.
  • From Wyoming, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $83,500.
  • From Montana, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $78,100.
  • From Nevada, the average household income of an out-of-state visitor was $97,200.

Educational Level

  • With the average income being $90,000 per year, this indicates that at least one member of the household most likely has a bachelor's degree.

Marriage Statistics

  • 68% of out-of-state visitors are married.
  • From Colorado, 59% were married.
  • From Arizona, 59% were married.
  • From Idaho, 71% were married.
  • From Wyoming, 68% were married.
  • From Montana, 65% were married.
  • From Nevada, 60% were married.

Household Composition

  • 16% of the out-of-state visitors were from a one person household, 51% were from a two person household, and 33% had three or more in their household.
  • From Colorado, 15% were from a one person household, 46% from a two person household, and 39% had three or more in their household.
  • From Arizona, 16% were from a one person household, 40% from a two person household, and 44% had three or more in their household.
  • From Idaho, 12% were from a one person household, 48% from a two person household, and 40% had three or more in their household.
  • From Wyoming, 14% were from a one person household, 49% from a two person household, and 37% had three or more in their household.
  • From Montana, 14% were from a one person household, 47% from a two person household, and 39% had three or more in their household.
  • From Nevada, 16% were from a one person household, 45% from a two person household, and 39% had three or more in their household.

Children

  • Only 25% of out-of-state visitors indicated they traveled with their children.
  • Visitors from Utah and Wyoming were the most likely to travel with children.

Ethnicity

  • 88% of out-of-state visitors were Caucasian, 1% African American, and 6% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Colorado, 90% were Caucasian, 3% African American, and 9% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Arizona, 85% were Caucasian, 3% African American, and 13% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Idaho, 91% were Caucasian, 0% African American, and 3% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Wyoming, 93% were Caucasian, 2% African American, and 4% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Montana, 94% were Caucasian, 0% African American, and 4% were of Spanish origin.
  • From Nevada, 77% were Caucasian, 5% African American, and 11% were of Spanish origin.

Visitor Spending

  • The majority of spending for out-of-state visitors is spent on dining out (32.3%), followed by lodging (25.1%), shopping (20.8%), groceries (16.1%), amenities (2.8%), and entertainment (1.5%).

Location of Visitors

  • The top states that visit Utah are California (10%), Nevada (8%), Idaho (6%), Colorado (5%), Washington (3%), Texas (3%), Arizona (3%), Florida (2%), and Wyoming (2%).

Visitor Facts

  • Out-of-state visitors state they enjoy the rural sightseeing and visiting parks.
  • Out-of-state visitors from Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada stay an average of 3.8-4.2 days per trip.
  • They state that they come to Utah for the state parks (20%), national parks (25%), rural sightseeing (23%), shopping (22%), Hiking (14%), and wildlife viewing (12%).
  • Out-of-state visitors are more likely to visit Salt Lake City, St. George, Zion, Moab, Park City, and Bryce Canyon, when compared to in state visitors.
  • Overall satisfaction for out-of-state visitors dropped from 90% in 2017 to 83% in 2018.
  • The majority of out-of-state visitors use a vehicle (61%), instead of flying (20%).
Sources
Sources