Tourism Helps Grow and Strengthen Wyoming’s Economy
We Support Governor Gordon’s Recommendation For the Wyoming Tourism Board
Governor Gordon has recommended a flat biennium budget of $13 million annually for the Wyoming Tourism Board. In addition Governor Gordon has recommended one time additional funding of $200,000 for PR efforts in Mexico (Mexico is the #2 international inbound market to the U.S, National Parks rank in the top 5 attractions for Mexican visitors and the average Mexican visitor spends 6 nights in the U.S. per visit)
In 2018 the fiscal impact of travel to Wyoming’s revenues was significant.
- Domestic and international visitors in Wyoming spent $3.8 billion.
- Wyoming welcomed 8.9 million overnight visitors.
- Visitor spending positively affected Wyoming’s economy by generating $196 million in local and state tax revenues.
- For every $1.00 that the state of Wyoming invests in tourism marketing we receive approximately $10.00 back in local and state taxes
- 32,290 people in Wyoming go to work every single day because of the tourism industry.
- $842 more in taxes per household annually would be needed without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry. This equates to: one house payment, a month of groceries, or a year of auto insurance, etc.
Tourism benefits local communities. The money the legislature invests each year gives us the opportunity to create jobs for local residents, provide long-term career growth options and make Wyoming a place people want to live.
We support the Wyoming Tourism Funding Account Bill- a 5% statewide lodging tax as an alternative-funding source for growing the visitor economy through the Wyoming Office of Tourism.
- Removing the Wyoming Office of Tourism off of the states general fund will revert $26 million back to the state’s general fund per biennium and will facilitate increased growth within the states second largest generator of sales and use tax.
- Wyoming’s statewide marketing program is currently funded at $13 million annually.This ranks 28th in the nation and is not competitive with our surrounding states.Colorado, Montana, Utah and even South Dakota all have dedicated funding sources that out compete Wyoming.
- A 3% statewide lodging tax will generate approximately $19 million annually placing Wyoming on a significantly more competitive platform.
- The 3% funding must be dedicated to tourism at a more competitive funding level.
- The additional 2% will replace 2% of existing local option lodging tax and will revert back to local option lodging tax boards as a safety net protecting critical local promotion.
- Local option lodging tax boards will still be able to renew up to an additional 2% local option lodging tax through a vote of the local governing body (county commissioners or city council)
- 80% of the revenue generated will be paid for by out of state visitors.