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Tourism in Utah on the rise

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News)- Tourism in Utah is on the rise according to the Utah Office of Tourism. Visitor spending has gone up

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News)- Tourism in Utah is on the rise according to the Utah Office of Tourism. Visitor spending has gone up 7.8 percent since 2011.

They say travelers spent $7.4 billion in 2012, employing more than 120,000 Utahns. The places most affected are Utah’s rural counties.

Six counties, Garfield, Summit, Grand, Kane, Wayne, and Daggett, show that tourism employs more than one-quarter of their workforce.

"The growth of Utah's tourism industry over the past decade has improved rural economies, stimulated entrepreneurship and small business development, in turn, strengthening our rural communities," Governor Gary R. Herbert said.

The Governor's Partnership for Rural Development and the Utah Office of Tourism in Richfield will meet Tuesday to discuss creating a strategy to improve businesses in rural Utah. They also plan to discuss funding education and building roads.

In 2012 Utah’s tourist visitation peaked at 23.5 million. These high numbers come from the millions of travelers coming to Utah’s five national parks and 14 ski resorts.

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