Every summer the number of people in Wyoming doubles, and sometimes triples, thanks to tourism. Without tourism, Wyoming could be a world of hurt.

In the discussion of the leading industries in Wyoming, mining, tourism and agriculture are tops on the list. Folks love to come into the state to experience all that it offers and Yellowstone National Park is at the top of the chain of attractions that people visit.

The summer of 2023 has been a really big year for the park and has potential of being one of the busiest years to date. August alone saw 846,389 visitors, which is up 45% from 2022 and 3% up over 2019.

Over the last few years, the Yellowstone visitor numbers have been up-and-down, thanks in part to COVID in 2020 and horrific flooding in 2022. 2021 posted incredible record-breaking numbers with 3,590,609 million people visiting through August and a total of 4.8million people. Which is the most ever, thanks in part to the world trying to get back to normal and spending much more time outdoors.

Comparing tourism numbers for Yellowstone is a little odd because of the last couple years we've had. When officials look at the number of visitors that enter Yellowstone, they compare back to the last "normal" year we had, 2019.

We compare 2023 visitation to 2019 visitation since 2019 was pre-COVID and the subsequent years until 2023 included unusual visitation trends due to COVID (2020, 2021) and the historic flood event in 2022 that closed the park for about two weeks in June.

In a recent social media post, the park revealed the compared numbers, through the end of August, over the last couple of years and this year has been a great year for the park and Wyoming.

2023 has seen 3,313,255 million visits (through August), which is up 36% from 2022 (2,437,607) and 6% over the 2019 numbers (3,114, 697).

With the majority of Yellowstone closing in mid-October, there is still time for the total number for the summer to get even higher.

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