Utah launches new $3.1 million tourism campaign
Marketing • Effort designed to lure more visitors to state’s national parks.
Published: March 28, 2013 11:40AM
Updated: March 28, 2013 11:45AM
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As part of its new spring and summer advertising campaign, large digital billboards known as "wallscapes" have been placed on buildings in Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Courtesy image

The Utah Office of Tourism is launching a $3.1 million regional television advertising campaign to promote the state’s five national parks.

The spring and summer advertising campaign, dubbed the “Mighty Five,” will include TV commercials aired in Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as a social media campaign. Also large digital billboards or ‘wallscapes’ will appear on the sides of buildings in Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Utah’s five stunning national parks contribute to Utah’s economy in a meaningful way by creating much-needed jobs and impacting local economies in gateway communities and surrounding areas,” Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement announcing the new effort to draw additional tourists to the state.

The Utah Office of Tourism indicated that even during the recent economic downturn visits to the state’s five national parks increased steadily.

In 2012, 6.5 million visits were made to Zions, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands, compared with 5.4 million in 2007 and 5.7 million in 2008. Also, another 5.1 million visitors last year toured the state’s seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and one national historic site.

“Everyone can experience our world famous red rock landscapes on their own terms, whether it’s family fun, white water, biking, hiking or the solace of nature,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, which is operates under the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

She noted that tourism is a huge component of Utah’s growing economy. Visitor spending in Utah was $6.9 billion in 2011, according to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. More than 22 million people visited Utah last year, creating more than 124,000 travel and recreation related jobs.

steve@sltrib.com

Twitter: OberbeckBiz

Visitors to Utah’s national parks

Even during the Great Recession, the number of visitors to Utah’s five national parks increased.

2012 • 6.5 million

2011 • 6.3 million

2010 • 6.1 million

2009 • 6.0 million

2008 • 5.7 million

2007 • 5.4 million

Source: Utah Office of Tourism