Published on : Friday, January 4, 2019
Travel and tourism churns out $7.6 trillion worldwide and $1.6 trillion for the U.S. economy, as per the World Travel & Tourism Council. Many small towns are keen to see a piece of tourism to perk up their economies. Visions comprise long-vacant buildings being repurposed into restaurants, community centers, or art galleries and surrounding scenic beauty being developed into parks, trails, river walks, fishing spots, or campsites.
Some have been successful. According to a recent report, Salida, Colorado, took the tourism plunge 30 years back and is now already enjoying the fruits of decades of effort. About 40 percent of downtown buildings were empty in the 1990s, which was an upgradation over the eighties. Today, downtown Salida has very few vacancies and is hopping with activity.
Back in 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture compared over 300 tourism-focused rural counties with others. The recreation counties had three times more the average growth in population and twice the job growth. Additional profits included rising land prices, less poverty, higher incomes, and more economic diversification.
Even in a state with Las Vegas, a mecca of tourism, getting most the headlines, rural Nevada tourism is no slouch, churning out $2.3 billion every year, according to the Nevada Commission on Tourism (Travel Nevada).
“All of our state parks are pretty much in the rural areas – our national park, great American history, ghost towns,” said Travel Nevada’s Public Relations Specialist Chris Moran. “There’s so much.”