CASPER, Wyo. — Natrona County saw 627,580 visitors in 2020 which was a decline of 333,420 visitors compared with 2019, according to a Wednesday, April 28 release from Visit Casper.
Travelers to Natrona County spent an estimated $225.9 million in 2020. Visit Casper said this generated $11.5 million in state and local tax revenue.
Wyoming overall saw 6.9 million overnight visitors who spent over $3.05 billion in 2020. That generated about $160 million in local and state tax revenue, according to the release.
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“Every $100 a visitor spends produces $6 in local and state tax revenues,” Visit Casper said. “If no taxes were generated by travel and tourism, the average Natrona County household would pay an additional $352 in taxes each year to keep the same level of existing government services.”
Tourism in Natrona County also supported 2,370 jobs in 2020, which amounts to around 4.6% of private employment in the county. That compares with 40,720 jobs supported by travelers statewide “including 28,630 directly in the travel industry and 12,090 in other industries.”
In 2020 the top places origin markets for visitors to Natrona County were:
- Salt Lake City
- Rapid City
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
Visit Casper shared the press release as they prepare to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week from May 2-8. Visit Casper says their theme for this year is “The Power of Travel.”
“2020 was a tough year for everyone, including the tourism industry,” Visit Casper CEO Brook Kaufman said in the release. “Travel and tourism play a vital role in Natrona County and our greater Wyoming economy, and this week is the perfect time to celebrate the impact it has.”
Visit Casper said in the release that there are indications travel within the United States is rebounding following the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Citing a report from Destination Analysts, Visit Casper said that American travel is on the rise and 71.6% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation, 70% to another state.
“Leisure travel is making a booming comeback,” Kaufman said in the release. “And with more Americans being on the move this summer, we’re well-positioned to welcome and show them all the reasons our community is vibrant, strong and the perfect place to add to their summer vacation itinerary.”
Visit Casper receives funding from the lodging tax in order to promote and market the Casper area for travel and tourism.