Rural tourism in the US making improvements

Published on : Friday, January 4, 2019

Tourism is growing and thus many rural areas are working to capitalize on people’s growing wanderlust. The WTTC has said that travel and tourism generates $7.6 trillion globally and $1.6 trillion for the U.S. economy. Many small towns want a piece of the industry to boost their economies. Hence, long-vacant buildings are being turned into restaurants, community centers, or art galleries and surrounding scenic beauty are being developed into parks, trails, river walks, fishing spots or campsites.

For example, Salida, Colorado, took the tourism plunge 30 years ago and is now enjoying the fruits of its effort. About 40 percent of downtown buildings were vacant in the 1990s, which saw an improvement over the eighties. Today, downtown Salida has very few vacancies and is buzzing with activity.

Even in a state with a tourism Mecca like Las Vegas grabbing most the headlines, rural Nevada tourism is not lagging behind, generating $2.3 billion per year, according to the Nevada Commission on Tourism (Travel Nevada).
Travel Nevada’s Public Relations Specialist Chris Moran said, “All of our state parks are pretty much in the rural areas – our national park, great American history, ghost towns. There’s so much.”

The trick is to encourage more people to visit. State tourism agencies throughout the U.S. are boosting rural communities to take advantage of their own attractions and leverage them to increase visitors.

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