Tourism is now a $2.1 billion a year business in Utah - a business that is growing every year.

Friday, the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition honored Utahns and businesses that have played a role in promoting Utah's tourism. Four Tourism Achievement Awards were presented.Kleon Kerr, manager of the Brigham City Welcome Center on I-80, was the winner of the Allied Category for people who volunteer their time to promote the state. Kerr also manages the Golden Spike Empire information center at Perry and distributes promotional brochures on his own time.

The winner in the regional category was the Canyonlands Natural History Association. The Moab-based organization has been providing guide pamphlets, maps, visual aids and information sheets to travelers in southeastern Utah for 21 years.

Keith Griffall, president of Western Leisure, a Salt Lake tour company, was the winner in the Professional Category.

The Grand Circle Association was the winner in the Corporate Category.

Utah students were also presented awards for their slogans to promote Utah and their essays on tourism.

Slogan contest winners were:

Primary Division - Carson Neilson, 1st place; Brian Karren, 2nd place; Brittney Menzel, 3rd place.

Junior Division - Juneal Joosten, 1st place; Jeff Calkin, 2nd place; Emily Richards, 3rd place.

Senior Division - Audrey Smith, 1st place; Sheri Stroud, 2nd place; Ed Warr, 3rd place.

Essay contest winners were:

Primary Division - Darin Sorensen, 1st place; Loralee Britton, 2nd place; Kelli Whetstone, 3rd place.

Junior Division - Tamra Lee Baker, 1st place; Mathew Romney, 2nd place; Courtney Durand, 3rd place.

Senior Division - Stephanie Carlton, 1st place; Jaci Nixon, 2nd place; Misty Horrocks, 3rd place.