St. George to Host Annual Utah Tourism Conference

Pete CodellaNews

Online registration is now open for the 10th Annual Utah Tourism Conference that will be held at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George from May 14-16, 2013. The conference is co-sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism and the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition (UTIC).

“Tourism drives the Utah economy with jobs and tax revenues, so it’s really important for all industry partners to gather once a year,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film, and Global Branding, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “We will brainstorm, share successes and collaborate to make sure tourists experience the very best of Utah Life Elevated®.”

The agenda includes sessions on domestic and international marketing, research trends, social media, a legislative update, and other topics.

“The Utah Tourism Conference is an excellent opportunity for businesses around the state to learn about what is new in the industry, what is working well for others, and how the efforts of all the state’s businesses collectively make the industry stronger and more cohesive,” said Marian DeLay, president of UTIC and executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council. “We have excellent speakers lined up, and a fun agenda planned. We hope to see more and more of our outfitters, lodging property owners and managers, restaurant owners and tourism providers present this year.”

“We are most anxious to host all of our tourism partners from around the state,” said Roxie Sherwin, director of the St. George Area Convention and Tourism Office. “We have planned for an enlightening conference, a good time and great weather!”

Entries and nominations are being accepted for the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame Awards and the new 2013 Best Ideas in Advertising and Marketing Contest. The deadline for the Hall of Fame nominations is April 26. Details for the Hall of Fame can be found online at The awards will be presented during the conference.

The Best Ideas in Advertising and Marketing Contest is an opportunity for the industry to learn from each other while sharing their successes in advertising and marketing. The deadline for the contest is April 26. Entries can include successful events, PR stunts, advertising campaigns, online promotions, or any imaginative approach that has been taken to promote a destination. There is no charge to participate, but tourism organizations are limited to one entry. For more information on the contest, visit, or contact Rebecca Katz at the Utah Office of Tourism at

Tourism is one of Utah’s largest industries, generating $6.9 billion in traveler spending every year and $890 million in state and local taxes. Utah’s Travel and Tourism-related employment is estimated at 124,059 tourism-related jobs in the state. In 2011, 22 million international and domestic travelers visited Utah.

Individual conference registration is $175. Two or more representatives from the same company can register for $150 per person. A student registration is also available for $50. For conference information and registration, visit or call UTIC at (801) 505-5266 or contact the Utah Office of Tourism at or (801) 538-1900.