“This is to protect lives in Utah, to protect the lives of visitors,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “That’s what our visitors are watching for. They want to know that they’re coming to a place where people are showing personal responsibility.”
After bleeding millions a day in lost visitor dollars early in the pandemic, Utah’s “Might Five” national parks, its hotels and a host of businesses that feed, guide and entertain tourists are starting to see significant improvements, officials said in an online briefing.
Spending and employment in the sector remain between 13% to 17% below last year’s levels, but those trajectories are turning upward at a faster rate than for the nation as a whole, according to Jennifer Leaver, senior tourism analyst at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
The public’s elevated focus on outdoor recreation in wide open and