CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An independent report states that visitors to Wyoming spent more than $3.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 6.8% from 2017.

The report by Dean Runyan Associates released Monday by the Wyoming Office of Tourism shows a steady increase in traveler spending and visitor volume in the state since 2007.

According to the report, Wyoming saw 8.9 million overnight visitors in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017.

The leisure and hospitality industry directly supports 32,290 jobs in Wyoming, making it the largest private sector employer in the state.

And the spending by travelers generates around $196 million in local and state tax revenue each year.

A proposed statewide lodging tax to increase tourism promotion spending and provide the state tourism office stable funding failed in the Legislature this year.