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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Report Shows Benefits From Promoting Recreation, Tourism

Much of rural Utah is composed of public land controlled by the federal government - including some of our most popular parks and recreation areas.

People from around the world come here to enjoy those lands, and that gives rural economies a real boost. Now a new federal report shows just how big of an impact tourism has. And it underscores the need to continue to promote and develop recreation and tourism.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the report. Below are excerpts.

Almost 15,000 rural Utahns — and 20,319 people statewide — can attribute their jobs to tourism-related activities fostered by the Interior Department. Those activities attracted more than 21 million visitors last year, generating $1.7 billion in economic output.

In releasing the report, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said it affirms his agency "creates and supports private-sector jobs and economic growth in Utah and all the states."

In addition, he said, the figures "underscore how investing in areas such as recreation, conservation and energy development can play an important role in getting our economy moving again."

The Interior report said the National Park Service attracted 8.7 million visitors last year, employing 8,619 people and generating an economic output of $597 million.

Bodies of water managed by the Bureau of Reclamation were visited by another 6.1 million guests, supporting 6,146 jobs and $557 million in economic activity. Bureau of Land Management lands also drew 6.1 million visitors, leading to 5,486 jobs and economic output of $512 million.

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