|This ad emphasizes the possibilities for play when the snow melts into water as these rafters seem to enjoy the trip down the river.|
David M. Williams presented the workshop on tourism. He is from the Utah Office of Tourism, and is a research coordinator. Williams said their goal is to bring people into the state and create an image for the state. The governor's office of economic development began the research on what people think of Utah. The good news and bad news he reported was they didn't have a bad image of Utah. They had no image of Utah. It was not on their radar screen. They have forgotten about Utah. "You need to remind people that you are there. Some of the focus groups we targeted seemed to think it was hard to get to Utah, you had to go through Las Vegas or Seattle to get to Utah. One of our jobs is to clear up those misperceptions," said Williams.
He showed the video which introduced the Utah Brand, Utah: Life Elevated. This video begins with spectacular views of Utah at its best. "Utah is an intense quilt of color, red, blue and purple; it is eye opening. Utah suspends you into a state of suspended unbelief. As I board the plane to leave Utah, Utah will never leave me," are some of the statements from the video.
The west is very competitive for tourist dollars. Utah is now 15th in tourism spending. In talking to people who have been to Utah, they say they go home feeling better after visiting Utah. In economics in travel related spending, Carbon County has 51.3 million and 40.6 million for Emery County.
As part of the Life Elevated marketing concept there are also co-op funds which local non-profit groups can apply for to target tourists. All of the Life Elevated marketing has been to out-of-state visitors. This out-of-state promotion has been going on for three years now. Co-op marketing funding has ranged from $2,500 to $250,000. This is matching money and can be used for festivals and other events. "Every region of the state has received this money. In Castle Country it has been used for a travel guide, travel booths at trade shows and ads. This helps spread the money further. Check the website travel.utah.gov for more information on applying for co-op marketing money," said Williams.
This marketing plan for showing the video and ads in select markets in the United States has increased the requests for information. On Oct. 28 the new winter ads will hit Sunday newspapers around the country. Other ads will include southern Utah with an emphasis on winter golfing. Ads will hit Boston, Ft. Myers, Dallas, Austin, Houston, LA, New York, Newark, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and Chicago. These inserts also include listings for local businesses and inquiries come directly to that business.
|David Williams from the Utah Office of Tourism presents a workshop on Utah tourism.|
Williams said another thing that has been profitable is the press tours. A United Kingdom press tour, German media motorcycle tour and a group from Israel have all been to Utah and then returned home to give free press to Utah. Utah's national parks and state parks are being featured in international magazines and travel guides. The Utah travel guide recently won an award given by the tourism directors from around the country. The tourism council also puts out a scenic calendar spotlighting Utah scenery.
Information has been put together focusing on information for people interested only in one topic such as: dinosaurs, ATV, Native American, festivals; including 24 topics total. These brochures are distributed at the national and state parks. All the focus is on getting out of the routine and helps for planning a trip. Another ad campaign is on truck wraps which paint cross country trucks with scenic Utah pictures and the phone number for the tourism office and the website.
The ski season which finished for 2007 was the fourth record breaking year for ski visits. People from the east exclaimed this was the best skiing they had experienced, even though locals were disappointed with snow totals.
|The greatest snow on earth is part of the winter focus.|
Snowboarder Shaun White filmed an American Express commercial in Utah. Quite a few companies are including Utah in their ads to promote another product or service.
Williams said one misconception they are working hard to overcome is the flight schedules. They want everyone to know that flying in and out of Utah is a snap. There are 143 non-stop flights out of Salt Lake. A connection is coming soon for a flight from Salt Lake to Paris and Western Europe.
The economic impact of the advertising generated from these ads has been $511 million in traveler spending. "The impact of each advertising campaign is moving the needle on awareness of Utah," said Williams.
Williams said their next focus will be on what else they can do. Promotion of the arts, fine dining, festivals and other activities will all receive attention in the future. "We need to make people aware of what we've got," said Williams, "Once we get them here, once they are hooked, then we can get them to return. The travel guide requests are up 100 percent. Awareness of Utah doubled in Los Angeles and Denver. Utah is a diverse state and it is a big challenge to show everything. We also have a new license plate coming out," said Williams.