The Economic Impact of Tourism in Idaho

Tourism is a major economic driver in Idaho, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. In 2020, tourism directly supported over 140,000 jobs and contributed over $2.9 billion to the state’s economy.

Tourism in Idaho is diverse, with visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy the state’s natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural attractions. The state’s major tourism destinations include:

* **Sun Valley**, a world-renowned ski resort located in the Sawtooth Mountains
* **Coeur d’Alene**, a picturesque lakeside city with a vibrant downtown district
* **Boise**, the state capital and largest city, known for its outdoor activities, museums, and restaurants
* **Yellowstone National Park**, one of the most popular national parks in the United States

Tourism has a positive impact on Idaho’s economy in a number of ways. It creates jobs, generates tax revenue, and helps to preserve the state’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

**Job Creation**

Tourism is a major source of employment in Idaho. In 2020, tourism directly supported over 140,000 jobs, and indirectly supported an additional 120,000 jobs. These jobs are spread across a variety of industries, including lodging, food and beverage, retail, and transportation.

**Tax Revenue**

Tourism generates significant tax revenue for the state of Idaho. In 2020, tourism-related taxes generated over $290 million in revenue for the state. This revenue is used to fund a variety of public services, including education, infrastructure, and law enforcement.

**Preserving Idaho’s Natural Beauty and Cultural Heritage**

Tourism helps to preserve Idaho’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Visitors to the state spend money on lodging, food, and other goods and services, which helps to support businesses that are committed to protecting the environment and preserving Idaho’s unique culture. In addition, tourism helps to raise awareness of Idaho’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, which encourages people to protect these resources.

**Challenges Facing Idaho’s Tourism Industry**

Despite the positive economic impact of tourism, the industry faces a number of challenges. These challenges include:

* **Competition from other destinations:** Idaho competes with a number of other destinations for visitors, including other states in the West, as well as international destinations.
* **Changing travel trends:** The travel industry is constantly changing, and tourism businesses in Idaho need to be able to adapt to these changes in order to remain competitive.
* **Natural disasters:** Idaho is located in a seismically active region, and the state is also prone to wildfires and other natural disasters. These disasters can have a significant impact on tourism, as visitors may be reluctant to travel to an area that has been affected by a natural disaster.


Tourism is a major economic driver in Idaho, and it has a positive impact on the state’s economy in a number of ways. However, the industry faces a number of challenges, and it is important to address these challenges in order to ensure the long-term success of tourism in Idaho.

Here are some specific ways to increase tourism in Idaho:

* **Promote Idaho’s unique attractions:** Idaho has a lot to offer visitors, but it is important to promote the state’s unique attractions in order to attract visitors from outside the state.
* **Improve infrastructure:** Idaho needs to improve its infrastructure in order to attract visitors. This includes improving roads, airports, and other transportation options.
* **Educate visitors about Idaho’s culture and history:** Visitors to Idaho should be educated about the state’s culture and history. This can be done through interpretive programs, tours, and other educational materials.
* **Protect Idaho’s natural beauty:** Idaho’s natural beauty is one of its biggest attractions, and it is important to protect this beauty. This can be done through conservation efforts, education, and other measures.

By addressing these challenges and promoting Idaho’s unique attractions, Idaho can continue to grow its tourism industry and reap the economic benefits that come with it.


* [Idaho Office of Tourism](
* [Idaho Department of Commerce](
* [Idaho State University](

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