Community and Partner Relations
We are excited to welcome Bianca Lyon to the UOT team to our newly created community and partner relations director role. The strategic planning process that many of you participated in emphasized the need for the role and we heard your feedback. Bianca will work with regional elected officials, tourism organizations and community partners to help destinations manage and develop their tourism economies consistent with community goals.
Bianca comes to UOT most recently from City Creek Center where she focused on tourism marketing and sponsorship. Before that, Bianca spent nine years in Salt Lake City government, six years working for Mayor Ralph Becker and three years as the public relations manager for the Salt Lake City International Airport. Bianca has a passion for public service, the outdoors and tourism and is thrilled to join the Utah Office of Tourism.
Please join us in welcoming Bianca to our team and expect to hear a lot more from her in the weeks ahead. Email Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource Center for SBA Loans
Financial assistance for small businesses is available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Where should you start?
The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need:
For more information on SBA loans, contact UOT Destination Development Specialist Flint Timmins email@example.com
You can find more business relief information as well as all the State’s COVID-19 resources at coronavirus.utah.gov
Online Tips for DMOs and Businesses
Both destination managers and tourism businesses can also take advantage of this time to do some simple, yet effective, tasks to prepare for recovery.
- Perform a checkup on your online presence. Now is a good time to evaluate your online presence. Review your website and online accounts to ensure there is accurate information and that you have a consistent persona. Make sure that you have a presence on the platforms that are most relevant for your industry and audiences. Create policies to ensure constructive and timely responses to customer reviews and inquiries.
- Make your mark on Google. Google is used for 90% of internet searches while Google Maps is used by 60% of mapping and navigation app users. Destinations and businesses need to make sure that Google search and navigation results provide accurate information to users. Google My Business is a free platform provided by Google to help businesses, nonprofits and destinations to provide information to their customers. You can also respond to Google reviews, upload photos and add new places (such as trailheads) to Google Maps.
- Gather data and craft your narrative. Even as the crisis is ongoing, you need to plan for recovery. Gather information about how you have been impacted by COVID-19 and subsequent isolation measures. Record items such as lost sales revenue, decreases in bookings, canceled events or furloughed employees. If you do not have hard numbers, record your best estimates. You should also gather personal stories of how the virus has affected you, your community and your industry. This will help you apply for state and federal recovery resources as well as inform budgeting decisions later.