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Utah tourism revenue expected to increase in 2021, but full recovery could take years

Posted at 7:21 AM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 11:17:01-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s tourism industry is expected to fare better in 2021 than it did in 2020, but the Utah Office of Tourism says it could take years for the state to make a full recovery.

In 2019, tourists spent $10 billion in Utah. Tourism officials say it may take until 2025 until we see those numbers again.

While most of the state is seeing fewer tourists, Utah’s urban areas have been hit the hardest.

“Within our distressed industry, the most distressed part of it is our convention districts. Think of downtown Salt Lake where you usually see, anytime you go downtown, you see conventioneers that are spending their money at our restaurants and retail and so forth, staying three, four, five nights, and that’s just not happening now and won’t happen in the immediate future,” said Utah Office of Tourism Director Vicki Varela.

To help regain some of the money lost, the tourism office has focused on investing in the state and marketing to Utahns.

Varela encourages Utahns to support locally-owned businesses and restaurants.