Bringing the Economy Home


What Tourism Means to Idaho's Economy


Justin Marty / Flickr

Bogus Basin Ski Area near Boise, Idaho

This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to Boise State Public Radio’s website.

Idaho’s tourism industry makes up about five percent of the state’s total business revenues.  The U.S. Travel Association says tourism employs more than 26,000 Idahoans. It generated nearly $500 million in local, state and federal tax revenues in 2008.  But over the last five years, the industry reported record losses.  According to the Idaho Department of Labor, tourism lost about 10 percent of its jobs between 2007 and 2010.

“The recession victimized Idaho’s tourism industry, slashing revenues and the tourism taxes they produce by 12 percent in 2009 from 2008’s record receipts of $407.6 million. It was the lowest total since 2005.” – Idaho Department of Labor

The Idaho Business Review reported in 2011 that a quarter of all tourism employment is at restaurants and bars which have taken a hit by the economic downturn.  Another 20 percent of tourism jobs are in hospitality, including hotels, campgrounds and RV parks.

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