Gov. Gary R. Herbert, along with a number of business executives and government officials, hosted a reception promoting Utah as a vacation destination and celebrating Delta Air Lines’ newly opened nonstop flight between Amsterdam and Salt Lake City. The reception was the opening event of the trade mission to Western Europe with aims to grow Utah’s $7.5 billion tourism industry.
“Tourism is a strong economic driver, contributing more than a billion dollars in state and local taxes that directly benefit Utah residents,” Gov. Herbert said. “International travel is a great growth market for the state, and nonstop flights from Europe make Utah more accessible to international visitors.”
The reception, led by the Utah Office of Tourism (UOT), was held at the Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam to familiarize journalists with Utah’s destinations and inspire tour operators to include Utah in their U.S. travel offerings. Nearly 30 journalists and more than 20 tour operators attended the event, generating multiple sales and media leads.
Available for purchase now, the new 10.5-hour flight will run seasonally May through October, providing nonstop service between Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), a key hub for European travel. Europe is Utah’s highest spending international tourism market. The Utah Office of Tourism has in-market representation in France, UK and Germany to promote Utah destinations to independent and group travelers.
“Research shows that tourism has a halo effect on all economic development,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding. “A great vacation destination is also viewed favorably for building careers, raising families and launching businesses. A new European direct flight raises Utah’s profile on the world stage in many ways.”
Varela and tourism staff joined Gov. Herbert’s trade mission delegation with the goal to grow international tourism, thereby boosting Utah’s economy. UOT will host a similar reception in Paris, which also has a nonstop flight to Salt Lake City, near the end of the trade mission.