Through earned media coverage, the UOT PR team aims to increase high-level destination awareness, influence perceptions and inspire travelers to connect with Utah’s unique offerings, personalities and more. The PR team generates earned coverage through hosted media familiarization tours, media events and proactive media pitching.
How can you work with the UOT Public Relations Team?
Story Idea Submissions
The PR team is always looking for unique, inspiring story angles and destination news to share with national, regional and in-state media. We are now accepting partner story idea submissions that meet the current headline criteria.
In addition, the UOT PR team hosts several top-tier journalists each year for in-market experiences. We call these media familiarization tours (FAM) or individual media visits (IMV). While the UOT typically covers transportation costs for these journalists, we rely heavily on industry partners to assist with lodging, experiences, meals and itinerary planning. The benefit is story coverage in target media outlets.
Public Relations Contact:
Anna Loughridge, Public Relations Manager
385-212-9325 | email@example.com
The Utah Office of Tourism Forever Mighty® Marketing Co-Op Program is an additional co-op opportunity (above and beyond its traditional program) for Utah destinations and organizations to support responsible travel campaigns and initiatives. The purpose of this program is to leverage state and partner funding to elevate Forever Mighty messages to travelers and encourage thoughtful behaviors that preserve our natural wonders and enrich our communities.
The Forever Mighty Co-Op program is a pilot program for FY 2022, utilizing approximately $200,000 in returned co-op dollars from FY 21 and will match partner dollars 2 to 1 (a $1,000 minimum UOT match, $50,000 maximum UOT match per application) to support these projects. This would be a competitive grant process and will support the projects that best meet the program goals until funds are exhausted.
What is Forever Mighty?
The Utah Office of Tourism developed the Red Emerald Strategic Plan to attract quality visitation and to encourage thoughtful, responsible and safe travel to the state. Forever Mighty is the public facing initiative to accomplish these goals.
The Forever Mighty initiative encourages travelers to explore Utah thoughtfully and safely by being well prepared, aware of our delicate ecosystems, and engaged with the local communities they are visiting.
Forever Mighty also aims to inspire residents, visitors, businesses and stakeholders to take an active role in preserving and enriching Utah through advocacy, ambassadorship and stewardship opportunities.
Why do we need Forever Mighty messaging?
As Utah grows as a destination and visitation to the state rises, it is increasingly important to manage and protect Utah’s tourism assets, communities and cultures. Ensuring that visitors and residents are aware of and educated in proper ways to engage in responsible visitation, respect Utah’s communities and minimize their impact on the state’s natural and cultural resources is an important step in managing the destination. Increasing education and awareness on the proper treatment of Utah’s tourism product will help maintain and sustain Utah’s experience for generations to come — for residents and visitors alike.
We call this effort “Forever Mighty,” and encourage consumer-facing use of this brand, and are building out content at visitutah.com/forever for education and inspiration surrounding this travel ethic.
- Forever Mighty travel ethics (listed in priority order):
– Practicing responsible and prepared travel and Leave No Trace principles.
– Fostering pride in place, as locals and visitors.
– Supporting local businesses and immersing yourself in communities while traveling.
– Welcoming travelers from all backgrounds, races and abilities, and ensuring they feel comfortable, safe and inspired during their visit.
– Visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Who May Apply for Forever Mighty Co-Op?
Similar to the traditional co-op, eligible organizations for the Forever Mighty Co-Op must be one of the following:
- A non-profit organization that has existed for a minimum of one year, in which the primary goal is to attract and retain additional visitors to Utah through tourism promotion.
- A DMO, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, or a Regional Tourism Organization.
- A Public Sector Organization such as event/festival organizer, association, attraction, recreation, and entertainment venue.
- An organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
What guidelines would organizations follow and what projects would FM Co-Op support?
All projects funded by the Forever Mighty Co-Op would need to clearly promote one or more of the Forever Mighty travel ethics. Applicants must demonstrate how the project will promote Forever Mighty travel ethics beyond the applicants’ normal/traditional marketing efforts. Final project deliverables must include UOT’s Forever Mighty logo. Projects may target in-state visitors, out-of-state visitors, or a combination of both. Forever Mighty Guidelines
Examples of Eligible Forever Mighty Marketing Co-Op Programs include:
- Traditional marketing campaigns/initiatives to promote Forever Mighty principles and travel ethics
- Social media campaigns or influencer/ambassador collaborations that promote responsible travel initiatives in your region
- Development of videos, photo assets or website content that promote Forever Mighty travel ethics
- Diversity and Inclusion marketing initiatives that celebrate diversity of communities and visitors, such as social media collaborations
- Promotion of stewardship events or voluntourism opportunities
- Local campaigns to celebrate how tourism supports communities
- Development and/or promotion of maps/itineraries, content and initiatives that encourage visitation to lesser-known destinations in your region
- Traveler safety and preparedness campaigns
- Collateral developed in partnership with public land management agencies intended to educate visitors and influence positive visitor behavior
- Infrastructure projects
- Staffing and administrative costs
- Operational costs
- Hard costs related to service projects
- Projects that do not specifically promote Forever Mighty travel ethics and concepts
- All other ineligible projects as specified in the traditional marketing co-op program
Project Scoring and Committee/Approval Process
UOT staff will initially evaluate all applications to determine if they meet the Forever Mighty Co-Op Guidelines. Co-Op Committee will then evaluate all applications $10,000 or above based on the FM guidelines and make recommendations of funded Forever Mighty co-op projects to UOT staff and ultimately to the full UOT board.
Scoring for the projects will be based on 1) project design, 2) community impact and 3) the incorporation of Forever Mighty travel ethics.
Funding for the 2022 Forever Mighty Marketing Co-Op in its pilot phase would be a 2 to 1 match, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $50,000 UOT match ($75,000 total project cost) per application. Half of the UOT match will be provided to the applicant up front, with the remaining half provided upon completion of the project.
To receive the second half of funding, applicants must demonstrate traditional KPIs and metrics of campaigns and initiatives. Secondly, the applicant must show a measurable community impact related to the project, demonstrated by visitor/resident survey results, qualitative feedback from land managers, or reduction in negative impacts such as EMS calls, etc.
Funding for these projects must be to be used by August 31, 2023. Forever Mighty Awards – Pilot
How to Apply
The Forever Mighty Co-Op grants use the same application system as the traditional co-op marketing program and requires applicants to be registered in the system. If you have never applied to the traditional co-op marketing program, please contact Kelly Day firstname.lastname@example.org 801-538-1727.
There is no guarantee that all applicants will be awarded funds. Even though a project may qualify, limited funds may not allow all projects to receive assistance. Any and all decisions regarding awarding of funds are at the discretion of the Co‐Op Committee, Board of Tourism Development, and the Utah Oﬃce of Tourism and are ﬁnal.
The Co‐Op Committee reserves the right to adjust funding parameters in accordance with the number of proposals received and available funds. Greater consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate the highest potential for the community impact of the project.
Projects submitted to the Forever Mighty Co-Op Marketing Program cannot also be submitted under the Traditional Co-Op Marketing Program. Duplications will be assigned to a single program at the discretion of the Co-Op Committee.
Applications open – May 17, 2021
Application deadline – June 30, 2021
Oral Interviews – July 26 and 27, 2021
Awards Announced – August 11, 2021
- Round 2021 Forever Mighty® Awards
- Round 2021 Traditional and Forever Mighty Revised Awards (Only includes awards that received increased funding)
Forever Mighty Co-op Marketing Program Contact:
Celina Sinclair, Partner Relations Lead
801-538-1710 | email@example.com
UTAH’S DARK SKIES
In collaboration and celebration with Governor Cox declaring April 2021 Utah Dark Sky Month, the Utah Office of Tourism has built a toolkit with dark sky-related resources and assets for you to utilize and share throughout this month and beyond.
“Over the last several years we have pivoted dramatically to focus on the quality of the experience for visitor and hosting communities. Preserving dark skies helps communities establish long lasting tourism economies and keeps our places forever mighty. Utah State Parks, our national parks and community partners have shown tremendous leadership and vision in preserving the night sky throughout the state.” – Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism
The Dark Skies Edition Toolkit includes the following resources:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Dark Skies
- An Astrotourism Profile
- The Dark Sky Month Press Release
- Visit Utah’s Social Tips for Dark Sky Month
- UOT’s Dark Sky Image Library
- Access to the Dark Sky Content on VisitUtah.com
Click the buttons below to access the content!
VIEW THE TOOLKIT
On April 5th, 2021, Governor Cox declared the month of April as Utah Dark Sky Month. The declaration encourages residents and visitors alike to celebrate this month by visiting one of Utah’s 23 accredited International Dark Sky places – including 4 of our Mighty 5® national parks, 10 state parks, and two towns. Read more.
The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) awarded International Dark Sky Park designations to Fremont Indian and Goosenecks State Parks on March 25th, 2021. These parks bring the total dark sky designations within the Utah Division of State Parks system to ten. This is more than any other state park system in the world. Read more.
Utah Office of Tourism Celebrates Governor Cox’s Declaration of Dark Sky Month
Utah Office of Tourism’s dark sky messaging encourages responsible tourism stewardship
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — The Utah Office of Tourism Celebrates Governor Spencer Cox’s declaration of April as Dark Sky Month. Astrotourism and dark sky messaging complement the tourism Red Emerald Strategic Plan, which aims to elevate life in Utah through responsible tourism stewardship.
The Red Emerald Strategic Plan aims to spread out visitation throughout the state and the year, not just high season and highly visited places. Helping visitors prepare to travel responsibly is a key element. The strategy focuses on the quality of visits rather than the quantity of visitors, and manages visitation consistent with local community priorities.
“Over the last several years we have pivoted dramatically to focus on the quality of the experience for visitor and hosting communities. Preserving dark skies helps communities establish long lasting tourism economies and keeps our places forever mighty,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “Utah State Parks, our national parks and community partners have shown tremendous leadership and vision in preserving the night sky throughout the state.”
Utah is home to some of the darkest skies on earth and currently leads the world in dark sky preservation with 23 accredited International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) places. With good planning and community support, dark sky preservation and astrotourism is a responsible and sustainable form of tourism that encourages overnight stays, distributes visitation around the state and educates visitors about Utah. Astrotourism could lead to an estimated $5.8 billion in spending in the Colorado Plateau and support over 113,000 new jobs in the next 10 years.
“I have proudly supported our state park system’s contribution to Utah’s global leadership in the number of designated International Dark Sky Places,” said Utah State Parks Director Jeff Rasmussen. “Many of our staff, interns, volunteers and partners have worked tirelessly over the last five years to help these parks earn this international honor. Visiting these areas and seeing the pristine night skies in such beautiful and unique settings is a truly spectacular experience. ”
Utah’s 23 accredited International Dark-Sky Association places include four of Utah’s Mighty 5® national parks, 10 state parks, and two towns. Visitors and residents can go to visitutah.com/stars for a suite of resources to learn how to experience, enjoy and protect the state’s vast night skies.
Contact: Anna Loughridge, 385-212-9325, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Utah Office of Tourism
The Utah Office of Tourism (UOT) fulfills its mission to improve the quality of life for Utah residents through revenue and tax relief by attracting quality, well-prepared domestic and international visitation and motivating tourism spending within a sustainable tourism economy. The UOT partners with communities to develop tourism economies and storytelling consistent with their local vision and encourages stewardship and industry support through local engagement and ambassadorship. To advance these goals, the UOT manages year-round strategic marketing, industry research, media relations, cooperative marketing, in-state public relations, website and visitor experience enhancements, and destination management and development programs. Learn more at travel.utah.gov and visitutah.com.
Calling all industry partners to join in submitting nominations for the 2021 Utah Tourism Hall of Fame!
The Utah Tourism Hall of Fame is presented by the Utah Office of Tourism and the Utah Tourism Industry Association. The Utah Tourism Hall of Fame recipients are nominated by their peers and selected for contributions made to Utah’s tourism industry at the state, regional, or local levels. The Hall of Fame was first introduced in 1985 and has recognized 118 individuals who have elevated life in Utah through their leadership in tourism marketing, stewardship, and destination management.
The nominees will be reviewed, and final selection will be made by a joint UOT and UTIA selection committee. Submit your nomination HERE
Please submit nominations by Friday, APRIL 30, 2021.
Thanks to UTIA for creating the awesome collage of past Tourism Hall of Fame recipients!
Utah Office of Tourism receives Adrian Award Recognition for Travel Marketing Excellence
Prestigious competition recognizes COVID-19 recovery campaign initiative and powerful storytelling
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored the Utah Office of Tourism (UOT) with one silver and two bronze Adrian Awards for marketing excellence for its winning entries in the 64th annual Adrian Awards, the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition. For 2020, HSMAI redesigned the Adrian Awards to reflect the current travel landscape, with Focus Categories of Corporate Social Responsibility, Crisis Communications/Management, Recovery Strategies, and Talent & Leadership Development, in addition to traditional Adrian Award categories.
“Our goal is to support Utah’s great small businesses — guides and outfitters, hoteliers, restaurants, retailers and more — by telling the Utah story effectively,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “Our marketing aims to encourage responsible visitation, engage with our local communities and to help travelers understand how accessible a Utah adventure can be. Adrian honors affirm that we have created messages that resonate.”
Utah Office of Tourism travel marketing entries:
- Between the Mighty 5 — Silver. The integrated marketing campaign for consumers. Launched 2019 Utah’s five national parks, “The Mighty 5Ⓡ,” have been the subject of successful advertising campaigns in the past. Now the national parks experience a variety of constraints in the peak season due to the high visitation numbers. The question/opportunity facing the UOT and key partners including Struck and Love Communications was how to focus the emphasis on targeting travelers who would increase their length of stay, spend more, explore further and travel better. View.
- Small but Mighty — Bronze. Recovery strategy. Launched 2020 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 outlined the 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, Small but Mighty 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. View. / VisitUtah.com
- Guided By — Bronze. Multimedia or video series. Reporting in recent years found that the Utah Office of Tourism’s powerful storytelling “coincided with a steep increase in park visitation that has continued unabated ever since.” It was time for a new narrative, a story told straight from the subject matter experts closest to the land who could responsibly lead visitors down a different road. UOT’s “Guided By” series is anchored by long-form video content unified by an effort to encourage high-quality, well-informed travel to places less known. The UOT’s Sandra Salvas led the creation of the series along with 3 Strings Productions and KHNO Films. The series was designed to be inclusive and representative of a range of demographics and diversity of talent across our target audiences. View.
“Just like the red emerald, mined only in Utah, we strive to make our storytelling unique and transformational,” Varela said. “Thanks to the innovative work from our internal team at the Utah Office of Tourism and key creative partners for making this possible.”
The Utah Office of Tourism was honored during the HSMAI Adrian Awards virtual celebration on Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Winning entries are viewable in the winners’ gallery on the Adrian Awards website. Visit www.AdrianAwards.com for more information on the event and competition and to view the Adrian Awards Winners’ Gallery.
Contact: Anna Loughridge, 385-212-9325, email@example.com
About the Utah Office of Tourism
The Utah Office of Tourism’s (UOT) mission is to elevate life in Utah through responsible tourism stewardship. We do this through marketing, stewardship and development. Marketing: UOT curates messaging that inspires visitation, supports local businesses and builds the Utah economy. Stewardship: UOT manages visitation statewide and supports the responsible discovery of Utah. Development: UOT partners with local communities to enhance and develop their visitor economies to benefit residents and visitors. Learn more at visitutah.com and travel.utah.gov
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, and HSMAI ROC. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, and HSMAI YouTube.
We are seeking responses to this survey by the end of day, Tuesday, Feb 16.
The Utah Office of Tourism launched a revamped website last week to inspire visitors to consider Utah for their travel, increase well-prepared visitation and improve the customer experience. The redesign includes new visuals that highlight Utah’s diverse, vast landscapes and encourage deeper exploration; new site headings point to more experiences; significantly improved data and technical capabilities engage users more effectively; and there is more detailed information about places to visit and itineraries.
“The covid pandemic has put an emphasis on travel planning and preparedness when visiting a destination,“ said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “Through our redesigned visitutah.com, we hope to inspire travelers to visit Utah thoughtfully and responsibly.”
The Red Emerald Strategic Plan encourages well-prepared year-round visitation, focusing on the quality of visits not just quantity of visitors, getting customers responsibly off the beaten path and helping communities that want to attract more tourists develop their destinations.
“Just like the red emerald, mined only in Utah, visiting the state and visitutah.com should be a unique, transformational experience that can’t be found elsewhere,” Varela said. “Thanks to our content strategist, Rosie Gochnour Serago, and the team at Hanson Dodge for their innovative work to make this big shift possible.”
Safe travel tips, itineraries and more information on unique Utah experiences can be found at visitutah.com