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Travel & Tourism
Salt Lake City - Tourism activities, programs and destinations across the State of Utah have received a boost with nearly $2.5 million in co-operative marketing funds awarded to promote Utah visitation by out-of-state travelers.
The Utah Office of Tourism Board voted Friday to extend co-op marketing partnerships to 50 partners representing 19 of Utah's 29 counties. The awards range from $1,120 to $275,000 and support everything from festivals, museums and aquariums to outdoor recreation programs and sports activities across the state.
"This program is generating out-of-state tourism in a measurable way and helping build communities all over Utah," said Joel Racker, chairman of the Utah Office of Tourism board and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This program strikes an important balance by providing both large and small non-profits across Utah an opportunity to showcase their unique offerings for potential visitors."
Vicki Varela, managing director of tourism, film and global branding at the Utah Office of Tourism, agreed. "These awards are custom fit to every community's unique selling points."
Funding for the co-op marketing program comes from the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF). More than half of the awards approved benefit Utah's rural communities, which, Varela said, represent a "vibrant part of Utah's tourism story." The TMPF co-op program, created in 2005, has approved 377 awards totaling $17.1 million to Utah non-profits in 27 of the state's 29 counties.
In Northern Utah, the co-op program is invaluable to destinations like Cache Valley, which has a much smaller marketing budget than other areas of the state, said Julie Hollist, director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau.
"This added money enables us to reach vital markets and avenues of marketing we have carefully identified that would otherwise be untouchable. It makes a big difference and we are so grateful," she said.