OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tourism has a $7.1 billion economic impact on Oklahoma and benefits each of the state’s 77 counties, according to a new report released Monday.
The report shows that visitors spent 6.1 percent more in 2012 compared with 2011. The report was conducted by the research department of the U.S. Travel Association and released by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
“Oklahoma is a beautiful state and there’s a lot to see and do,” Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement. “It’s no surprise that it’s an increasingly popular destination for tourists.”
The report said payroll income in the state’s tourism sectors including lodging, food service, recreation and retail increased 2.2 percent over 2011, while employment in those sectors rose from 76,600 in 2011 to 78,200 in 2012.
The report says tourism benefits all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. Nineteen of the counties received more than $50 million in domestic travel expenditures in 2012. In Oklahoma County, tourism generated almost $2.5 billion. In Tulsa County, it generated more than $1.7 billion in 2012.
Secretary of Tourism Deby Snodgrass said the numbers show that the state’s tourism industry is strong and continuing to grow.