Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tourism Plays Big Role in Davis County

There’s no Yellowstone National Park or Grand Canyon in Davis County.

But thousands of tourists still visit the county every year, and they make a substantial contribution to the economy.

Nearly 10,000 people work in jobs that are considered part of the tourism/hospitality industry.

“The Governor’s Office of Tourism said $536 million is spent by travelers in Davis County,” said Barbara Riddle, CEO of the Davis Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That puts the county in good stead, behind such tourism meccas as Salt Lake County and its Temple Square and ski resorts, or Summit County, home to Park City.

Its 9,688 tourism-related jobs also place the county in fourth place. As a segment of the economy, tourism places fifth in the state, Riddle said.

Tourism-related sales tax revenue is up 7 percent statewide, as well as on the increase in the county, said Nan Anderson, director of the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition, the statewide tourism industry trade organization.

Those taxes come from restaurants, hotels, and also reflect sales tax revenues from such venues as Cherry Hills Resort and Lagoon, as well as ski lift tickets.

More people are also “tacking on” an extra day or two to sight see after a convention, for example

County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings has consistently reported increases in the hotel room, restaurant and car rental tax revenues.

In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, $890 million was generated in state and local tax revenue, statewide, an increase of 5.8 percent, Anderson said.

The transient room tax grew by nearly 30 percent in revenues, while restaurant tax grew almost 6 percent.

There were more than 124,000 tourism-related jobs across the state in 2011, material she provided indicated. Davis Clipper