In the United States, some of the most popular destinations for domestic and international tourists alike are the country’s national parks. In fact, every year the world’s central bankers travel to the U.S. state of Wyoming for an annual meeting in the shadow of the Grand Teton National Park.
CGTN’s Sean Callebs was able to see for himself what the big attraction is.
They come for the beauty and the adventure. Delivered to the rugged northwest corner of Wyoming in planes, trains, and automobiles. But the ride doesn’t stop there. Many travelers then board a rubber raft for a trip down the river.
“This is absolutely beautiful,” said tourist Douglas Clark. “The scenery, the water is crystal clear – a little cold but tolerable.”
Bud Chatham has two white water rafting companies that take legions of people down the Snake River each year.
“The word of mouth gets out, because the way it is now is the way it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago. And it is the way it is going to be 100 years from now,” he said.
Millions of people have traveled through the city of Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the shadow of the Grand Tetons.
“A lot of families come here for the big “out west” travel road trip. They hit up all the national parks in the surrounding area. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone (Park) are just a hop and skip away from us,” said Cecilie Davila with the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. “You also see people from outside the U.S. and when they think ‘I want to experience cowboys, true America,’ wild west comes to mind.”
This year, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort estimates 150,000 people will ride their tram up the mountain -more than 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) in vertical lift.
Resorts in the area make most of their money in the winter, when the mountains are covered with snow for skiers, and snowmobiles. But far more tourists visit the region in the summer.
There is virtually no summer advertising; it is the reputation that brings seasonal visitors to the area.
“You will see a lot of people starting their vacation or making a stopping point here, to spend a day, to enjoy the Teton Mountains and be outside,” said Anna Cole with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Future economic growth could very well be the warm months.
“We want people to be fit, be well and, you know, grow their experiences in the mountains,” said Cole.
And Chatham adds that it’s budget friendly.
“It is probably the most affordable way of seeing this country. All the towns that are kind of outside the national parks are really able to benefit from that aspect of it,” he said.