Idaho Tourists: Most People Visit To See Friends & Family

Dec 20, 2018

The state's Department of Commerce says the tourism budget for Idaho is fairly small. Officials focus mostly on digital campaigns aimed at women planning family vacations.
Credit Visit Idaho

A look at Idaho tourism numbers shows many visitors are coming to the Gem State to see friends and family.

Tourism is the state’s third-biggest industry. According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, businesses across the Gem State took in about $3.7 billion thanks to travel. The Department estimates the vast majority of Idaho tourists – some 70 percent – visited from another state.

A report by the Idaho Press finds the average length of a trip to the state is three days. While 49 percent of visitors came to see relatives or friends, other popular reasons for checking the state out included enjoying outdoor recreation or as a stop on a road trip. The highest numbers of visitors last year came from neighboring Utah and Washington.

A spokesman for the Department of Commerce says Idaho’s tourism budget is fairly small. The bulk of funds go to running digital campaigns. Specifically, tourism professionals target women planning family vacations.

Along with trying to lure out-of-state visitors, officials are also trying to spur locals to get out and explore Idaho. Experts say visitors from the big cities of the Treasure Valley can have a large impact on some of the state’s rural towns. If the Idaho resident has a good experience in a small town, they’re more likely to return or recommend the destination to local friends.

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