Utah's International Market

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Utah's International Market

Some popular tourism activities in Utah among international tourists are attending the Sundance Film Festival, snowboarding at skiing at Utah's ski resorts, and exploring national parks. According to the most recent data, international visitors of Utah spend their money on transportation, lodging, food, retail products, groceries, and recreational activities.

International Tourism Activities in Utah

Attending the Sundance Film Festival in Park City
  • The Sundance Film Festival is one of Utah's major tourist attractions and is held every January at Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden City, and Robert Redford’ s Sundance Village. Thousands of independent films of different genres, topics, and languages are reviewed and presented in the festival. The event features Q&A sessions with directors and cast members, and a film music showcase and round table, among other activities.
  • This festival attracted over 1,800 international visitors and "press from 22 different countries" in 2017, the next year it attracted tourists from 26 international countries, and in 2019 from 35 different countries. One of the reasons foreign tourists are attracted to this event is because of its publicity efforts through print, television, and social media content. Also, direct flights have become more accessible from different international destinations, like Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Mexico City.
  • The festival has also introduced global viewers to "the most groundbreaking films" and helps to connect them to creative artists, original voices, and independent storytelling.
Snowboarding and Skiing
  • Utah has some of the most popular ski resorts in the world, including Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Snowbird, Alta Ski Area, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, and Woodwark Park City, among others. Visitors engage in activities like snowboarding and skiing at these resorts.
  • International visitors to Utah's ski resorts in 2017 were mostly from Australia, the UK, and Canada. These visitors agree that they like to attend these resorts because of "the quality of skiing, ease of flying into the SLC International Airport and accessing ski resorts from the airport, and the favorable snow conditions."
  • Foreign visitors are also attracted to Utah's ski resorts because of its ski hills, different terrain parks for snowboarding, ultra-luxe experiences, high-speed lifts, buffet restaurants, and fine dining experiences, among other features.
Exploring National Parks
  • Utah's national parks feature a wide variety of activities that range from visiting petrified Jurassic sediments, hiking, biking, visiting canyons, rafting in the Colorado River, watching sunsets, among other experiences.
  • This state's national parks feature Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Zion National Park, The Grand Canyon, and other attractions.
  • International visitors to these national parks are mostly attracted by nature and landscapes. Also, visiting the parks has become more popular over the years as social media has been a tool for tourists to share their experiences in the parks.

Utah's International Visitor Spending

  • According to Visa's latest credit card spending data from 2016, Utah visitors from China spent 44% of their total spending on retail/shopping and 10% on car rental, French visitors spent about 66% on lodging and food, and Canadian visitors spent about 25% on lodging and 4% on car rental.
  • For every $1 spent in US national parks, including the ones located in Utah, visitors from China spend $85 outside the parks, while visitors from other countries spend $50.
  • In 2018, non-resident visitors of Utah, which include visitors from their largest foreign markets (Canada, China, and Germany), spent $8.38 billion.
  • These non-resident visitors spend their money mostly on transportation (gasoline, car rentals, transportation fares, parking), lodging, dining, retail products, groceries, as well as arts, entertainment, and recreational activities.
  • At de 2019 Sundance Film Festival, international visitors contributed $7 million spent in local lodging businesses.