Out-of-State Visitors Spent Nearly $60M To See Eclipse in Wyoming
State officials have released data detailing the positive economic impact had on Wyoming by some 261,100 people who traveled to view August's total solar eclipse.
An estimated 29,000 international travelers came to Wyoming to view the eclipse.
"We knew that Wyoming was going to be the top destination for many people who wanted to view the total solar eclipse," said Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, in a statement. "As a result of this study, we can confidently say that this year's eclipse brought millions of dollars to Wyoming -- in a five-day period out of a thirty-one-day month -- in travel expenditures and impacted every single county in our state."
A total of $63.5 million in travel spending was logged, according to the Wyoming Office of Tourism, over a five-day period due to the eclipse. Of that sum, $59.8 million was spent by out-of-state visitors.
Most of the travel spending -- $60.6 million -- is attributed to travelers staying overnight somewhere in Wyoming.
"We knew there was going to be significant amount of economic activity around the eclipse," said Jennifer Griswold, research and analytics manager for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, in a statement. "To be able to study this event from an economic point of view has never been done before now and it was exciting for us to be able to show, in hard numbers, the kind of impact major events can have on Wyoming's economy."
Local governments gleaned $1.4 million statewide from eclipse-related spending, while the state government benefited to the tune of $2.3 million.
Of the 261,100 who traveled in Wyoming, some 197,600 were from out of state. The remaining 63,500 were Wyomingites who traveled within the state to see the eclipse.
"The more than a quarter of a million people who were in Wyoming for the eclipse resulted in a visitor volume of nearly 675,000," Griswold said. "This means that the majority of travelers chose to spend multiple nights in Wyoming."
Most out-of-state visitors -- 77.4 percent -- stayed overnight in Wyoming, with an average of 4.1 days and 3.5 nights spent in the state. Just over half of them stayed in a hotel motel bed-and-breakfast or resort, with another 26.5 percent staying in Wyoming campgrounds.
On average, 39.5 percent of out-of-state visitors during the five-day period said they would not have made the trip to Wyoming had it not been for the solar eclipse, according to survey results.
Visiting parties spent an average of $930.93 over the course of their trip, with over a third of that going to lodging.
In Natrona County, hotel and motel stays accounted for over $3.5 million in visitor spending, with camping making up nearly $1.7 million in visitor spending.
Media coverage of the eclipse in Wyoming provided an estimated value of $6.77 million. Eclipse-related coverage included 19,603 mentions of Wyoming with an editorial circulation of more than 51 billion.
"The true value of all the editorial coverage Wyoming received leading up to the eclipse is immeasurable, especially when it comes to our ability to inspire and generate future travel to our state," said Shober.
Nearly 44 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would return to Wyoming within the next two years.
The state tourism office also noted that the eclipse provided an added boost in visitor traffic during the end of summer when visitation in Wyoming tends to taper off.
"Typically, we see a slight dip during late August, due to back-to-school activities," Shober added. "But with this summer's total solar eclipse, Wyoming was able to see $63.5 million contributed to our economy during a five-day period, which is an incredible boost for us during a time when visitor traffic starts to decline."