When the Legislature meets in January, legislators will see a slide presentation urging them to more than double the amount spent on Utah tourism promotion.
Larry Jackstien, chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's tourism committee, told the chamber's board of governors the Utah Division of Travel Development needs more money because surrounding states have increased their tourism budgets to match Utah' aggressive tourism advertising in recent years.Jackstien said because media costs have gone up and the money the division has to spend went down in the current fiscal year, the amount of advertising that can be purchased has diminished. With surrounding states spending large sums on tourism, he said Utah's tourist promotion budget needs to be increased from $3.4 million to $8 million.
According to the slide presentation, Utah had 11 million visitors this year that resulted in $2 billion in tourist-related sales and 47,000 jobs, a vital part of the Utah economy.
The narrator said a 1973 survey showed the average visitor was staying in Utah less than one night, but after that time when a tourism promotion campaign began, the length of stay gradually increased. Jackstien said for every dollar spent on tourism advertising, the state receives $4.70 in return.