News Release
For Immediate Release
June 9, 2015

Michael Sullivan, GOED Communications Director

Nonstop Amsterdam Flight Opens New Markets For International Tourism To Utah
Reception in Amsterdam introduces attendees to all the Beehive State has to offer

SALT LAKE CITY, UT –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.


Editor’s Note: This event is part of the 2015 Utah Trade Mission to Western Europe. The mission, which runs from June 6-16, includes delegates from more than 20 Utah businesses, universities and organizations and spans five countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France. The purpose of the trade mission is to strengthen existing international relationships, open new markets and foster future business growth and investment in Utah.

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
International Trade and Diplomacy Office (ITDO)

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Gov. Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination. IDTO assists companies in developing markets for their products and services in other countries. ITDO helps Utah companies understand the benefits of expanding into international markets and provides assistance securing international business connections. Through increasing international trade and branding Utah globally, ITDO helps grow Utah’s economy, create jobs and increase Utah’s international presence.
For additional information please contact: Nathan Lambson,

The Utah Office of Tourism, an agency within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, promotes out-of-state visitation to Utah through advertising, social media travel trade and other communications. Tourism in Utah is a $7.5 billion industry, which last year generated $1 billion in state and local tax revenue.


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Governor Herbert with (l-r) Vicki Verela, managing director of Tourism, Film and Global Branding at GOED, Jan Feenstra, Delta Air Lines Netherlands sales manager, Anke Popping, winner of a trip to Utah, and a representative from Tioga Tours, the company that sponsored the contest.



Governor Herbert addresses a group of Dutch tour operators and journalists about Utah’s Mighty Five® national parks and Greatest Snow on Earth®. The reception produced many sales and media leads.