Sweetwater County – The Sweetwater County 4 percent local option lodging tax is administered by the Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism board (SWCTT) with the sole purpose of generating visitation to the area. The SWCTT board just released its annual report, which reflected that the direct advertising efforts of the board generated $5.4 million in visitor spending in the county in 2019 (SMARI).
“Individuals that visited Sweetwater County, after seeing an advertisement placed by the SWCTT board and requesting a travel guide, spent $5.4 million here in 2019. That is money going into the cash registers of local businesses in Sweetwater County, made possible by the local option lodging tax,” Jenissa Meredith, executive director of Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism, said.
“In this ever-changing digital marketing landscape, it is increasingly challenging to get the attention of potential visitors. We are pleased with the economic impact that we were able to generate for Sweetwater County in 2019 and will work to continually adjust our marketing efforts to effectively attract visitors,” Meredith said.
The SWCTT 2019 Annual Report Lodging Tax Budget
- 72 percent Overall Marketing Campaign
- 10 percent Event Grants (any non-profit, local event that generates lodging occupancy)
- 5 percent Rock Springs and Green River Chambers of Commerce (staffing of visitor services)
- 5 percent Sweetwater Events Complex (out-of-county marketing and event recruitment)
- 8 percent Administration
The SWCTT board also provided funding or allocated staff efforts towards:
- Event & International Tour Recruitment
- Beautification Efforts to enhance the city gateways
- R.E.A.C.H. Awards to recognize customer service in the local hospitality industry
- NHSFR Promotional Efforts in the Salt Lake City market
- Proud Wyoming Woman Retreat, which received a great deal of national media exposure for Sweetwater County (New York Times & Smithsonian Magazine)
SWCTT Board Marketing Research Results
SWCTT fulfilled almost 30,000 travel guide requests and drove over 150,000 new visitors to the website at www.tourwyoming.com in 2019.
Over 63 percent of leisure visitors to Sweetwater County are on their way to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
“We often say that all roads lead to Yellowstone and we are happy to be on one of the most scenic and easily traveled routes,” Meredith said. “Sweetwater County offers a variety of amenities and attractions to entertain and engage visitors to the area. We know that we are not always the final destination for visitors, but we are a valuable component to the overall road trip around the great state of Wyoming.”
The 2019 SWCTT board marketing research also showed that:
- 3,940 Trips were Influenced by SWC Marketing Materials in 2019
- 2.8: Average Travel Party Size
- 3.4: Average # of Days Spent in SWC
- $143: Average Spending Per Person/Per Day
- $1,368: Average Trip Spending
“With the current changes in the local and statewide energy sector, tourism is more important than ever, and we take our mission of growing the visitor economy very seriously,” Meredith said.
The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is one of the most popular and dependable tourism assets in Sweetwater County therefore SWCTT is working to build a tour around Flaming Gorge in 2020. This tour will draw additional visitors to the area and extend the stay of visitors traveling through this region on their way to the National Parks.
Wyoming Office of Tourism Research: Visitor Spending in Sweetwater County – 2018
In addition to the marketing research commissioned by the SWCTT board, the Wyoming Office of Tourism commissions research on a larger scale to calculate total visitation to Sweetwater County. The most recent results are from 2018. (Dean Runyan & Associates)
- $8.5 million: Total Taxes Paid by Visitors in SWC
- $502: Total Dollars Saved by Each SWC Household Due to SWC Visitor Spending
- 1,460: Total SWC Jobs Supported by SWC Visitor Spending
- $34 million: Total Earning by SWC Residents Working in Tourism Industry
- $162 million: Total Travel Spending in SWC in 2018