MOAB, UT, Aug. 8, 2016 – Moab, Utah, flanked by two national parks, is one of the world’s great playgrounds, equal to any popular tourism destination when it comes to healthy, immersive, year-round outdoor recreation and scenery.
And it comes as no surprise that midway into 2016, visits are on the rise to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and to Moab, the recreation-centered town that serves park travelers. This year, after all, is the “it” year for visiting national parks, thanks to the celebrations and promotions centered around the 100th anniversary of the United States National Park Service.
The go-to hub here is Moab Adventure Center (www.moabadventurecenter.com/) just 4.5 miles from Arches National Park and 30 miles from Canyonlands National Park. While visits to the region show a healthy 11 percent increase over last year, the Center reports that through end July it has seen a strong 8 percent increase in half- and day-long Arches National Park tours. Rafting is up an unprecedented 50 percent, and there’s increased interest in mountain biking and rock climbing.
“But the biggest trend I see is the effort and dedication people make to get here to do our parks,” said Jaime Pearce, manager of Moab Adventure Center.
Last calendar year Arches drew nearly 1.5 million recreation visitors. By June 2016 visitations were up nearly 11 percent over last year. There were close to 10,000 more vehicles entering the park this June compared to June 2016.
“And they’re coming from all over the world,” observes Pearce.
One visitor to Moab in early July said there seemed to be twice as many foreign-speaking travelers as Americans enjoying the region’s offerings. That’s not by accident, however, as information about the area is available via brochures online that can be downloaded in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, according to the Moab Travel Council.
“We see a lot of foreign travelers in July and August, but most of the time they’re on their own group or self-contained tours,” said Pearce.
She said that Moab Adventure Center assists foreign visitors by hiring guides who speak multiple foreign languages and matching them up with guests purchasing tours that may range from river rafting to hiking.
“We have an incredible mix of guides. This is one of the things that sets us apart. On TripAdvisor and internal customer satisfaction surveys our guides are also singled out for their professionalism and friendliness,” she said. “They are very knowledgeable, clean cut and cream of the crop.”
As the largest employer in the recreation arena in this region, Moab Adventure Center often retains local guides who have grown up in the area and who know the landscape. Approximately 25 guides are assigned to land tours, another 40 to river programs in the area, and up to 50 escort rafting trips into the Grand Canyon.
Visitors to this region can enter the park 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and therefore plan their arrival and departure to avoid the popular 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. window. An astronomical chart for the region informs visitors when the sun rises and when it sets each month. And it gives a peek at the best dates to plan night hikes to witness the full moon working its magic over the park. Star-gazing nights that celebrate the heavens may also be planned. See: http://discovermoab.com/sunshine.htm.
“I think the park service is doing a great job offering night tours and sky tours,” commented Pearce. “The parks have got it covered.”
Creating a vacation in Moab is easy enough once the visitors know how long they will be in the region. Then it’s a matter of getting everyone up and out early so that at least two activities can be scheduled each day.
Moab Adventure Center is at the epicenter of nature-themed rather than Disney-themed adventure, promising activities that include rafting, jet boating, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking and hot air ballooning. Moab Hummer safaris, rock climbing, canyoneering and horseback riding are also popular. Many of these activities are conducted with guides, an arrangement that helps preclude the kind of damage to the land that can happen when uneducated visitors venture into areas where they shouldn’t be. Guides help people understand where they can move through back country with the least impact possible.
To make it easier to get to Moab there’s a new air service from Salt Lake City and Denver into the region. San Francisco-based Boutique Air provides passenger airline service to Canyonlands Field Airport.
For pre-trip-planning and reservations, please visit an on-line Moab Travel Kit at
http://secure.moabadventurecenter.com/express/inquiry/ or call 866-904-1163 or 801-942-6669 to request a Travel Kit.
About Moab Adventure Center
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/), an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main Street, Moab, Utah 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or send an email from http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/contact/. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear and clothing as well as souvenirs.
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