TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho is growing and along with this growth is an increase in tourism.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from April 2020 to July 2021 Idaho saw a population increase of 3.4%. As the Gem State is closing in on crossing the two million in population mark, tourism has become a major part of Idaho's economy.
According to Idaho commerce, tourism generates $475 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue. On Tuesday, Southern Idaho tourism announced Sarah Rohrbach as their newest executive director and she says that tourism growth is invaluable to Twin Falls.
“It’s bringing more money into our economy from outside states, maybe even countries and it’s helping Idaho and our Magic Valley specifically thrive,” she said.
Travel and tourism has seen a return since the pandemic as well. According to the U.S. travel association, travel spending is at it's highest mark since the pandemic started at 6% above 2019 levels.
“All of the awesome shopping, all of the awesome dining, all of the awesome commerce we have here in the Magic Valley, it gives people a why when they are coming into Twin Falls,” said J.J. Shawver, membership services coordinator with the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Many areas in the Magic Valley have seen this uptick in tourism such as the downtown district. Nate Rioux is the owner of Bullmoose Bicycles and says his shop sees more than just locals.
“A lot of easterners and southerners are discovering our state and its been fun to tell them these places they need to ride and visit,” Rioux said.
For more information on Idaho tourism, click here.