Utah tourism officials delighted with return of international travelers

According to Vicki Varela, executive director of the Utah Tourism Board, tourism revenues in Utah in 2020 are down 30% and the lack of international visitors is one of the main reasons.

Monday, United States travel restrictions have been lifted for all countries and now fully vaccinated travelers can enter the country.

Varela said Utah was delighted to reunite with these tourists for the first time in over a year and a half.

“We live in a really changing time where more and more Utahns have come out, explored and had adventures,” she said, “but with the absence of international visitors it really made an impact. on the tourism economy because international visitors [stay longer and spend more]. “

Varela said international visitors made up about 7% of Utah’s overall tourism economy. She said they tended to think outside the box by glamping, visiting Starry Sky Communities, traveling on long road trips and generally showing “some kind of explorer mindset”.

Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks closed early of the pandemic and since then the crowds came back in record numbers.

Zion National Park spokesperson Amanda Rowland said all travelers are recommended to follow local CDC guidelines. She said they also need to know their physical limitations.

“Maybe it’s been a while, maybe since they got on a plane or traveled this far,” Rowland said. “So [people should] just think about how they feel on the day of the activities they are going to do, maybe take it slow.

Varela said that to help manage congestion in busy areas at peak times, all visitors are encouraged to explore the “undiscovered” parts of the state.

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