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Ogden locals, Jennifer and Taylor Killian — founders of adventure company AndShesDopeToo — enjoy a family kayak paddle at sunset on the Great Salt Lake, one of many destinations in our new “Insider's Guide to Ogden” video. Photo: James Winegar


Greetings, industry partners! Can’t wait to see you in Salt Lake this week for the Utah Tourism Conference. Let me interrupt your packing with some last-minute suggestions on what we will all need. Definitely whatever makes you comfortable to ride our new electric scooters (so urban!). But also remember to pack some intangibles that won’t take up much space in your bags. Flexibility is a must. Imagination. And a big dose of humility. We will need all these to define our path for continued success together.

It would be easy to look at Utah’s tourism revenue growth — 7.2 percent last year compared to the national average of 4.6 percent — and sit smugly. But today’s success reflects thousands of wise decisions by hundreds of people over many years. And we have a superior product: Utah! So humility is our starting point. As we enter our second year of Red Emerald stewardship, our vision is that Utah is a great quality of place and experience for both our residents and our visitors.

Continued success means continuing to reinvent and welcome new ideas. Transforming from mass to precision marketing means what worked last year — or even last month — may be outdated. And our customers expect us to be available online 24-7. We need more and better infrastructure for recreation, wayfinding, charging up our electric vehicles and more. And we need to tell our great stories in new inspiring ways. I look forward to sharing good news with you on many of these efforts in our 8 a.m. Wednesday session. The lineup of conference speakers will inspire us all. So pack up your bags and get on the road to Salt Lake, leaving a little extra room for the big ideas we will all bring home with us. 

—Vicki Varela, Managing Director

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In 2017:
  • Utah visitors spent $9.15 billion...
  • Which supported 147,800 jobs
  • Resulting in $1.34 billion in state & local tax revenue
Tourism taxes provide each Utah household $1,357 in tax relief. See more research highlights

UOT Hires New B2B In-market Representation Firm in China

Travel Link Marketing Co. has been providing tailored public relations, trade, marketing and sales services to destinations, airlines, hotels and other tourism industries in Greater China for more than 13 years. TLM has offices located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Hong Kong. The diversity of the office locations and staff working on the Utah account in those locations will be incredibly valuable for achieving our goal to target niche markets of travelers.


Outdoor Adventure, Winter and Urban Experiences Drive Current Marketing

UOT is in the middle of a fall season digital marketing push to promote Utah to national and state park enthusiasts, explorers seeking experiences off the beaten path, and achievers who seek to push themselves physically in the outdoors. UOT’s winter ad campaign is currently in-market with native advertising targeting skiers and snowboarders nationally. In November and December, additional campaign elements will include digital and social media, TV, connected TV, out-of-home and print. Key spot markets include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Content creation continues for various destinations and activities all over Utah, including an increased emphasis on promoting Utah’s urban product (see our recent video on The Caffeinators of Salt Lake City).

New Support for Rural Tourism

Flint Timmins is the destination development specialist with the UOT, a new position designed to assist small and rural local governments develop the amenities, infrastructure and leadership necessary to become welcoming destinations for visitors.

Until recently, Flint worked for the Utah’s Division of Housing and Community Development where he conducted rural research, provided local government planning assistance and supported the division's infrastructure funding programs. He will be driving our destination development initiatives — “Rourism 2.0” — which include action plans, branding & product development.


Made in America: Travel’s Essential Contribution to Economic Development

The U.S. travel industry has seen a decrease in global market share beginning in 2016 and America is falling behind the competition. See the U.S. Travel Association’s full report (PDF) to learn more about the importance of keeping America top of mind.

2019 Top Target Markets & Trends

Global tourism has been flourishing as economies around the world have strengthened. This webinar explained how Brand USA has been prioritizing target markets for 2019 and provided key market insights that are driving our strategy for the upcoming year.

October 23, 2018
State Scenic Byway Committee Meeting
Salt Lake City

November 9, 2018
UOT Board Meeting
Davis County
December 14, 2018
UOT Board Meeting
Copyright © 2018 Utah Office of Tourism, All rights reserved.

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