Mapping Utah's Most Visited Places
How do we know what the most popular tourism destinations in each county are? What are the specific locations that drive Utah’s tourism economy? For some areas of the state, it is obvious. Temple Square is Salt Lake County’s most visited destination. Arches National Park drives much of the visitation to Grand County while Bryce Canyon National Park does the same for Garfield County. But beyond these examples, there is no consistent and standardized method of determining the specific attractions or landscapes that drive Utah’s tourism economy, and more specifically, the tourism economy of the state’s 29 counties.
In this project, we use millions of posts to various social media platforms to determine the exact geographic locations that are being visited the most by Utah’s non-resident and resident travelers. Our overarching goal is to provide each county within the state a very accurate, scientifically-defensible, understanding of the destinations, both big and small, that drive that county’s tourism economy.