San Juan County, Utah: Visitor Demographics
San Juan County is called Utah's Canyon Country and attracts tourists both within and outside the U.S. The top visitor attraction within San Juan County, based on the number of visitors, is Glen Canyon Nataional Recreation Area which had 4,872,102 visitors in 2018. Many of our research findings pertain to visitors of Glen Canyon because that was the main location that demographic data was available for (likely due to its expansive visitor count).
1. Where Visitors Come From
- According to the 2018 Tourism Year In Review San Juan County, the county's recently narrowed target market includes Phoenix (Arizona), Denver (Colorado), and California.
- San Juan County distributes its travel guide for marketing purposes in the U.S. and worldwide.
- The top U.S. states that San Juan County distributes those travel guides in are California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Utah.
- The top countries that the county distributes those travel guides in are the U.S., Canada, U.K., Italy, and Australia.
- U.S. visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in spring 2007 came from 48 different states and that summer visitors came from 43 states.
- Among 2007 visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the three states with the most visitors were Utah (20% of all visitors), Colorado (14% of all visitors), and Arizona (12% of all visitors).
- Among spring 2007 visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, international visitors came from 19 different countries. Those visitors accounted for 13% of all spring visitors.
- The four countries with the most visitors to Glen Canyon in spring 2007 were France (4% of all visitors), Germany (3% of all visitors), and both the Netherlands and Switzerland each accounted for 2% of all visitors.
- Among summer 2007 visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, international visitors came from 23 different countries in spring. Those visitors accounted for 16% of all summer visitors.
2. The Survey
- We found information about age, trip expenditures, group size, and educational group demographics of visitors to San Juan County from a comprehensive research study of visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (which we refer to below as Glen Canyon), which is located within the county.
- Though that survey was conducted in 2007 by the University of Idaho, it contained the most-directly applicable data we could find about visitor demographics for San Juan County visitors, which is why we included it.
- The survey findings were based on the results of 1,302 visitor groups that participated in the survey (two surveys were distributed, as one included 679 visitor groups and the other included 623 groups).
- Many of the survey results are specific to spring visitors versus summer visitors, which show interesting differences in visitor demographics based on when those people visited San Juan County.
- For the age demographics included in this section, the numbers in parentheses represent the percentages for three age groups that comprise the 15-year increments we created. The research study reported visitor ages in five-year increments, but we grouped those findings together into 15-year increments. All the data is from 2007.
- Among Glen Canyon National Recreation Area visitors in spring 2007, 6% were 15 or under (4% + 2%). In summer, that number increased to 21% (10% + 11%).
- Among Glen Canyon visitors in spring, 12% were 16-30 years old (2% + 5% + 5%). In summer, that number increased to 21% (9% + 6% + 6%).
- Among Glen Canyon visitors in spring, 16% were 31-45 years old (5% + 5% + 6%). In summer, that number increased to 23% (5% + 8% + 10%).
- Among Glen Canyon visitors in spring, 36% were 46-60 years old (10% + 11% + 15%). In summer, that number declined to 26% (12% + 8% + 6%).
- Among Glen Canyon visitors in spring, 29% were 61-75 years old (14% + 10% + 5%). In summer, that number declined to 11% (5% + 4% + 2%).
- Among Glen Canyon visitors in spring, 2% were 76 years of age or older. In summer, that number declined to 1%.
B. Trip Expenditures (as a proxy for Income)
- While we weren't able to find demographic data about income (explained below), we were able to find trip expenditures among visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. We included that data because it speaks to financial means of visitors.
- On average, a visitor group spent $914 per person for their trip to Glen Canyon National Recreation in spring 2007, which includes their expenditures both outside and within the park. In summer, that average rose to $1,240 per person.
- The median per-person expenditure was $435 in spring 2007, while the median in summer that year rose to $595.
- In further regard to 2007 visitor expenditure data, "[t]he per capita expenditures were $339 per spring visitor and $223 per summer visitor."
- The following are statistics of visitor groups' total expenditures for their trips to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in spring 2007, which include their expenditures both outside and within the park (amounts are per group): 57% of groups spent between $1 and $500; 25% spent between $501 and $1,000; 9% spent between $1,001 and $1,500; 3% spent between $1,501 and $2,000; and 7% spent more than $2,000.
- The following are statistics from visitors' total expenditures for their trips to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in summer 2007 (amounts are per group): 45% spent between $1 and $500; 23% spent between $501 and $1,000; 9% spent between $1,001 and $1,500; 7% spent between $1,501 and $2,000; and 15% spent more than $2,000.
C. Group Size (as a proxy for Marital Status)
- Among visitors to Glen Canyon Recreation Area in spring 2007, 62% had a group size of between two and three individuals. In summer, that number dropped nearly in half down to 32% of groups with between two and three individuals.
- In spring 2007, 33% of visitors groups to Glen Canyon had at least four individuals within their group, while that number nearly doubled in summer to 66%.
- Among spring 2007 visitor groups to Glen Canyon, 55% were families and in summer 53% were families.
D. Educational Group Visitors (as a proxy for Education)
- Among visitors to Glen Canyon Recreation Area in spring 2007, 3% visited as part of an educational group.
- In summer 2007, less than 1% of visitors to Glen Canyon Recreation Area visited as part of an educational group.
Your Research Team Applied the Following Strategy:
After thorough research, we weren't able to find directly relevant information about visitor demographics for gender, income level, educational level, or marital status. However, for most of those demographics, we were able to find closely related demographics, so we included that information above as a proxy. With regard to the requested data points, we looked thoroughly for that information by using three different research methods. First, we reviewed San Juan County's website, but the information there was largely geared towards residents, not tourists (nor was it about tourists). Second, we looked for articles about San Juan County tourism and the visitors who travel there. To our surprise, we didn't find any articles about that topic or anything closely related to it. The only articles were destination-specific (e.g. about Glen Canyon National Recreation Area). However, in looking for those articles, we found one source that described San Juan County as Utah's Canyon Country. That insight led us to the website for Utah's Canyon Country, which turns out to be the visitor site for San Juan County. On that website, we found the San Juan County Visitors Guide 2019 and the 2018 Tourism Year in Review publications for San Juan County, which provided us with some relevant visitor demographics that are included above.
Despite finding those credible publications, we still needed to find information about the remaining data points (all except where visitors come from). Thus, our third research method involved narrowing the scope of our research to look for information about visitor demographics specific to the most-visited attraction in San Juan County: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. We narrowed our research scope in that manner due to the lack of available information about those data points with regard to San Juan County overall. This narrowed research scope led us to a 2007 research study of visitors to Glen Canyon Recreation Area, which proved to be the best source we found throughout the entirety of our research. Some information from that comprehensive research study directly pertained to the data points requested, while other information was closely related to those data points requested. After conducting that extensive research and still not finding all the directly applicable visitor demographics, we decided it was necessary to include related visitor demographics as a proxy. Overall, we included all the relevant and related insights we found that pertained to the requested visitor demographics about visitors to San Juan County.