Tulsa, OK – Today, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department unveiled findings from a new study showing the economic impact of tourism in Oklahoma. The results were announced at the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Tulsa.

Domestic travelers directly spent nearly $6.2 billion in Oklahoma during 2010, an increase of 7.2 percent over 2009. Travel-generated employment is also up 4.3 percent with employees earning more than $1.8 billion in payroll income during 2010.

Additional highlights from the study include:

Oklahoma’s tourism industry is a vital employer – 74,900 jobs were generated by Oklahoma’s tourism industry in 2010.

Without these jobs generated by domestic travel, Oklahoma’s 2010 unemployment rate of 7 percent would have been 4.3 points higher than it was, or 11.3 percent of the labor force.

On average, every $82,790 spent in Oklahoma by domestic travelers generated one job in 2010.

Oklahoma tourism generates significant tax revenue – Domestic spending in Oklahoma generated more than $1billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments in 2010. This is up 4.1 percent from 2009.

Tourism benefits all 77 counties in Oklahoma – Travel expenditures occurred throughout all of the 77 counties in Oklahoma, with 16 counties receiving more than $50 million in domestic travel expenditures in 2010.

Six counties indicated 1,000 or more jobs directly supported by domestic travel.

Tourism generated more than $2.1 billion in Oklahoma County and close to $1.5 billion in Tulsa County for 2010.

The economic impact study was conducted by the research department of the U.S. Travel Association and provides preliminary 2010 estimates of domestic traveler spending, employment, payroll income and state and local tax revenue directly generated through tourism in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) is working to advance the exceptional quality of life in Oklahoma by preserving, maintaining, and promoting our natural assets and cultural richness. The department is the steward of the state park system and also promotes Oklahoma as a travel destination through many award-winning programs. To learn more about Oklahoma’s unique events and attractions, please visit www.TravelOK.com or follow us at Facebook.com/TravelOK or Twitter.com/OklahomaTourism.

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