Studies show tourism boom in Oklahoma - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Studies show tourism boom in Oklahoma

Burford Lake, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Source KSWO) Burford Lake, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Source KSWO)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) –Governor Mary Fallin announced Monday that three research studies on the impact of Oklahoma’s tourism shows direct travel spending reached an all-time high in 2014.

In 2014, direct travel spending came to $8.9 billion, which makes travel and tourism Oklahoma’s third largest industry.

“Oklahoma has experienced a tremendous growth in tourism and recreation businesses, destinations and sites which greatly enhance not only our ability to attract visitors and improve Oklahomans’ quality of life but also creates jobs and revenue for our state,” said Governor Fallin. “The money spent at these scenic spots and recreation destinations is a boon for local communities and the state of Oklahoma.”

The studies were commissioned by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Those studies revealed nearly 20.9 million travelers visited the state in 2014. While in the state, visitors generated $972 million in tax revenue, including $366 million that went to the state. Generated tax revenue increased 15 percent over 2010.

Dick Dutton, executive director for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, is excited about the impact tourism advertising has had.

“When out-of-state residents had viewed our tourism advertising and then visited the state, they were dramatically more likely to see Oklahoma as a good place to live, start a career and start a business,” said Dutton. “Thus, a dual purpose of tourism marketing is realized. It has a positive impact on the state’s image as a destination for leisure travel and recreation, while also enhancing Oklahoma’s ability to attract business investment.”

You can learn more about the studies here.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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