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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.