U got this in Utah

Utah is a magical place. In one day, you begin your day hitting the slopes followed by going to the desert. I had the chance to speak with David Williams of the Office of Tourism in the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development to discuss why you should go to Utah.



(Image courtesy of https://www.visitutah.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=statewide&utm_content=visitutahbrandedterms&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1290210&ds_rl=1285031 )


1. Why should someone visit Utah?


My boss likes to say, “If Colorado and Arizona had a love child, it would be Utah.” Utah has the best of the Rocky Mountains and the red rock of the Desert Southwest. The incredible vistas aren’t just on the ground. Want a fantastic view of the stars? Utah is the dark skies capital of the world with four national parks, five national monuments, five state parks, and two towns

accredited as International Dark Sky Places—and counting.

Utah’s world-class outdoor recreation is found throughout the state. Utah has 44 state parks,

many of which rival national parks for scenic beauty. Of course, the state is also home to The

Mighty FiveⓇ national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches. The Greatest Snow on EarthⓇ and easy access set Utah apart from other ski destinations. Of Utah’s 15 resorts, 10 are within an hour of Salt Lake City International Airport.

Utah's cities and towns offer experiences as varied as the landscape. Cities located in Northern Utah offer access to ski areas, mountain adventures, urban lifestyle

and world-class arts and culture. Heading a few hundred miles south opens up a completely

different landscape, where you can disconnect in outdoor basecamps surrounded by redrock scenery and unforgettable vistas (and some skiing, too).

Whether for work or play, Utah offers unforgettable experiences. In Utah, people live Life Elevated®. Learn more at visitutah.com.





(PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM BEAN, ALAMY Image courtesy of : https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/photos-utah-national-parks )




2. How has the Utah state government adapted in the face of COVID-19?


Utah’s government set up a website: coronavirus.utah.gov to inform people about health guidelines, including guidance for businesses, households, schools, travel, etc. Various phases of the pandemic were outlined with guidelines for each phase. Many employees from state

agencies have been working from home for the past year. Efforts have been made to distribute CARES funding via grant programs designed for those who need it most, and residents have been encouraged to support local businesses.


(PHOTOGRAPH BY SCOTT SADY, ALAMY Image courtesy of : https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/photos-utah-national-parks )


3. What are the top sites anyone should see in Utah?

See my answer to question #1. VisitUtah.com has gorgeous photos and information including itineraries to help you experience the state whether you want to experience the outdoors or arts and culture. While in Salt Lake City, visit Temple Square, headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and home to the Tabernacle Choir. The Natural History Museum of

Utah is full of wonder and also offers a beautiful view of the Salt Lake Valley. See Broadway shows at the Eccles Theater.

Park City, home to the Sundance Film Festival, offers a classic mountain resort town experience

just a half hour away from Salt Lake City. Utah’s Olympic Park in Park City houses one of only

our sliding tracks in North America, six Nordic ski jumps, a 2002 Winter Games museum, and a multitude of adventure activities.

Utah’s national parks are each unique, and there are incredible views, visitas, towns, and state parks near each one. Explore the regions surrounding each park to maximize your experience.

Remember to visit responsibly. Get tips at visitutah.com/forever



(Image courtesy of https://www.visitutah.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=statewide&utm_content=visitutahbrandedterms&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1290210&ds_rl=1285031 )


4. How has did the Utah tourism office shift its efforts during the pandemic?


Along with most other travel and tourism boards around the world, the Utah Office of Tourism’s

planned campaigns were put on hold in early March 2020 while the world seeked solutions to the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than have our marketing efforts go completely dark with the. onset of COVID, the UOT, alongside key partners including Struck and Love Communications, quickly developed a strategic plan defined and guided by key measured indicators that outlinedthe path for all communications for the UOT across their paid media, social, public relations,

community management, and website content platforms. In addition to promoting safe, well-prepared visitation, our Small but Mighty campaign worked to mitigate the economic loss for the tourism industry in Utah and set up the destination for a strong recovery when the time

was right.


(gif courtesy of wix.com)




5. What is the future of tourism in Utah?


Over the years, we have evolved from only focusing on marketing to now also working on destination management and development. The Red Emerald Strategy is an internal guiding document to help us — The Utah Office of Tourism — prioritize our promotional and product

development efforts toward creating Utah travel experiences that are rarefied, distinctive, unique to Utah and highly coveted. The principles in the Red Emerald Strategy focus on attracting quality visitation, which means shaping traveler itineraries to promote longer stays, increased spending, dispersed visitation throughout the state and deeper engagement with local communities. This strategy also champions a community-led vision for tourism development.





(gif courtesy of wix.com)



Thank you so much David and the rest of the Utah Tourism team. I can't wait to visit this beautiful state once people get their vaccines!

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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