The Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism was founded in 1998 by the Utah State Legislature through the Recreation and Tourism Research and Extension Program Act (S.B. 35). The Institute is mandated to focus on: tourism and outdoor recreation use; the social and economic tradeoffs of tourism and outdoor recreation for local communities; and the relationship between outdoor recreation and tourism and public land management practices and policies.
The purpose of the Institute is to provide: better data for the Legislature and state agencies in their decision-making processes on issues relating to tourism and outdoor recreation; a base of information and expertise to assist community officials as they attempt to balance the economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs in tourism development; and an interdisciplinary approach of research and study on outdoor recreation and tourism, a complex sector of the state's economy.
The Institute’s academic program offers both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Recreation Resource Management. Our academic program also contributes to Environment and Society, a doctoral program offered within the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University.