Utah, Tourism, Economic Development


Tourism in Utah is largely driven by seasonal recreation at its variety of natural-heritage resources all year round. Traditionally, in order to measure the impact that tourism has had on economic growth, income variables such as the nominal and real GDP have been used, but these only give a one-sided economic approach. If we look at the distinct concept of economic development instead of economic growth, what can be said about the impact that tourism has on the former?

This study will use and test variables that explain economic development and tourism behavior in the state of Utah. To measure economic development, this study will use a Non-Income Human Development Index, derived from the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI); and to quantify tourism, we will use Taxable Accommodation Sales and Leisure and Hospitality Sales in the state of Utah from 1990 to 2016.

The methodology of this research uses VAR – a bivariate vector auto regression that studies interdependencies in trends – to examine the relationship between tourism and economic development in Utah. Previous studies have found a significant relationship between economic development and tourism growth, so we will apply the Granger Causality test to determine the causal nature of this relationship. The results of this study can be used by the Utah State Government and recreational entities to support their making wise investments in tourism.



Marriott Student Review is a student journal created and published as a project for the Writing for Business Communications course at Brigham Young University (BYU). The views expressed in Marriott Student Review are not necessarily endorsed by BYU or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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