Jackson, WY – The Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Joint Powers Board (JHTTB) announces partnerships with University of Wyoming’s WORTH Initiative and Teton County’s Regional Transportation Planning Division to create a more sustainable community and destination. After support and approval from local Town and County electeds, a $600,000 Destination Development Program Grant awarded to the JHTTB from the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) has been allocated to develop a tourism dashboard to measure impacts on the local community ($513,129) and to conduct a mobility hub study to better manage visitor movements ($86,000).
In December 2022, WOT unveiled the Destination Development Program “to help Wyoming destinations develop their communities to be visitor-ready and to have the capacity to leverage the visitor economy.” The JHTTB applied for the Destination Development Program, and in the spring of 2023, Teton County was awarded $600,000 of this funding. As a leading tourist destination, the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board earmarked the special reserve funds to advance the work of the Sustainable Destination Management Plan (SDMP). After receiving unanimous support from Town and County electeds to put these funds to use for Jackson and receiving final approval from JHTTB members, agreements have been put in place with the University of Wyoming and Teton County to carry out work to better understand tourism’s impact on Jackson Hole and to consider solutions for tourism management topics like transportation.
“These public, private, and statewide partnerships allow our community to make immediate progress on SDMP priority initiatives that would otherwise still be one to three years in the future,” commented JHTTB Executive Director, Crista Valentino.
The University of Wyoming has been allocated $513,129 to “identify and catalog impact indicators and data on multiple areas related to sustainable destination,”as stated in their approved scope of work. Over the course of two years, the JHTTB will work with University of Wyoming’s “Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality” (WORTH) Initiative to collect data on visitor use and visitation impacts, ultimately developing an industry-leading tourism dashboard that’s regularly updated and accessible to the entire community. These efforts correlate with SDMP Goal 7, “to monitor tourism and its impacts on people and place (all lands, all communities).”
The University of Wyoming is evaluating community indicators from over 300 data points and will be deploying community and visitor survey opportunities to satisfy SDMP action items “to identify and catalog all pertinent impact indicators” and “to interpret data and analyze trends to communicate the complex story of tourism to the general public in a simple way.” More information on these actions and how they specifically relate to SDMP Goal 7 can be found on Page 51 and 52 of the SDMP.
“This will give the community some baseline and ongoing data points with which to make management and marketing decisions for the destination,” said JHTTB Board Member and Sustainability Chair, Mary Bess, “and more comprehensively give us a picture of the state of tourism and it’s positive and negative effects within the community so that we can better adjust to the needs of the destination and proactively work toward sustainability.”
“The WORTH Initiative is excited to partner with the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board to provide support for the Sustainable Destination Management Plan,” added Interim Director of University of Wyoming’s WORTH Initiative, Dan McCoy. “Our efforts are focused on developing a destination data bank, a visitor intercept survey, and the resident sentiment survey. All of this would not be possible without the support from the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Destination Development funds to support local communities.”
Working simultaneously, Teton County’s Regional Transportation Planning Division will use $86,000 to supplement the $80,000 budgeted from Teton County and the Town of Jackson to conduct a mobility hub study and develop a mobility action plan by June 2024. Key goals of this plan include identifying successful strategies to manage visitor and resident mobility, evaluating existing conditions of areas where visitors experience transportation congestion, prioritizing best practices and mobility management strategies that may be most successful in Jackson, and a developing mobility hub concept design. The long-term goals of this work align with SDMP Goal 5 and will have positive impacts on affordable transportation throughout the county.
WOT’s Destination Development Program provides unprecedented support to allow the JHTTB to partner with Wyoming-based organizations to benefit our local community with issues, like transportation and visitor management, that impact us all.
Industry.VisitJacksonHole.com offers more information on the regular efforts of the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board to develop a sustainable destination in Teton County.
The Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Joint Powers Board is dedicated to developing a healthy economy that preserves Jackson Hole’s natural capital, provides a quality visitor experience, and enhances the wellbeing of the community. VisitJacksonHole.com and Industry.VisitJacksonHole.com for more.