Though a little outside our normal range, This news comes from Vernal, Utah, and has some interesting stats that effect every business in the Wasatch range.

Utah has five national parks, 43 state parks and 14 ski resorts that generate $4.4 billion in total wages from tourism related jobs and employs over 142,000 people. To help continually build Utah’s tourism industry, over 300 Utah tourism professionals gathered, last week, at Dinosuarland in Vernal, Utah for the 2017 Utah Tourism Conference.

This annual conference provides tourism professionals the opportunity to come together and reflect on the previous year’s successes and focus on new campaigns for the upcoming year. To kickstart the conference on Sept. 12, tourism attendees gathered in Dinosaur National Monument at Split Mountain. Attendees enjoyed a Dutch oven dinner, heard Governor Herbert speak and viewed the world-famous Wall of Bones.

Governor Herbert spoke on the economic growth and develop of tourism in Utah, including “rourism”—preparing rural communities for tourism growth. Herbert informed that in 2016, travelers spent $8.4 billion in Utah, resulting in over $1.2 billion in tax revenue. Utah’s tourism growth has put the state three years ahead of its revenue goals.

The conference went from Sept. 12-14, and was held at the Uintah Conference Center where professionals participated in breakout sessions and speaker events. Attendees learned about the latest tourism issues, technology’s influence on tourism and best practices in the industry. Information was also given on the best practices for finding a niche, creating a valuable product, advertising the product and delivering the product.

Professionals were also informed on the internal markets that come to Utah. The six countries that visit and generate the most revenue in Utah are the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, China and Australia. Professionals also participated in networking and outdoor activities around Vernal such as mountain biking, river rafting and hiking.

The conference was hosted by the Uintah County Office of Tourism and sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism, Utah Tourism Industry Association and the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association. To host the conference, cities must apply. Vernal won this past year, and next year Salt Lake City will host the conference.

“The Tourism Conference was a success,” said Lesha Coltharp, tourism director of the Uintah County Travel and Tourism Office. “It was great to have the opportunity to showcase Vernal to industry leaders and show what Vernal really is, a hidden gem in Utah with great recreation, restaurants, hotels and yes… dinosaurs too.”

To learn more about the Uintah County Office of Tourism, visit dinoland.com. For more information on the conference, go to travel.utah.gov/news/2017-utah-tourism-conference.

About Dinosaurland:

Located just three hours east of Salt Lake City in Vernal, Utah’s Dinosaurland is a hidden gem of adventure and discovery. The area is home to one of the most productive Jurassic Period dinosaur quarries in the world at Dinosaur National Monument. Bucket-list destinations include the Wall of Bones, with its 1,500 exposed dinosaur bones, and the Dinosaur Garden. From dinosaur bones and ancient petroglyphs, to trophy fishing and epic road trips, Dinosaurland provides something for everyone. To easily plan your trip, visit dinoland.com.