494,000 Isn’t a Crowd, It’s an Economy; #helpatourist
Promoting tourism in Fremont County is everyone’s responsibility. We’re all ambassadors for this great community. This #helpatourist content series, sponsored by Wind River Visitor’s Council, will demonstrate how you help your town every time you help a tourist.
In 2017, Fremont County, branded to travelers as Wind River Country, welcomed 494,000 overnight visitors.
It can be a default reaction to think tourists may be at our favorite fishing and hiking spots or take up all the parking on Main Street. But half a million visitors spent a night in Wind River Country last year, and the tourism industry only affected our lives for the better. Even during the weekend of the Great American Eclipse, most places weren’t overrun. Busy, yes. Overrun, no (until they all left at the same time, of course).
On the other hand, those 494,000 people contributed $2.6 million in sales taxes. That accounted for 11 percent of all sales tax collections in the county. It would cost the average household here $431 more each year to enjoy the infrastructure and public services that we do.
Our local businesses hired 1,420 employees to serve the tourism industry, comprising 6 percent of the county’s total private industry employment. In fact, were it not for those jobs created by travelers, the unemployment rate in the county would be 13 percent instead of 7 percent.
Wind River Country is enormous. There is a lot of room to breathe here, and a lot of room to share. Eighty-five percent of the land that makes up Fremont County is public land, land we choose to share amongst ourselves and with our guests. And there is plenty of room to do so. So, while we enjoy spending days on the trail or in the Wilderness without seeing another human, we still have room to host people who enrich our lives personally, bolster our friends’ businesses, and ease the strain on our local governments.
Knowing that 494,000 people got excited about visiting the place we call home, we don’t need to worry about our personal space. Instead, we should welcome them and share our love for Wind River Country with them. In doing so, we will also help our towns by enticing them to stick around a little longer.
Remember, when you help a tourist, you help your town.