Utah shows industry partners why it’s truly ‘Forever Mighty’

Utah shows industry partners why it’s truly ‘Forever Mighty’

TORONTO — The events calendar is filling up as travel continues to recover and last night it was the Utah Office of Tourism’s turn to showcase its product and thank travel agents, tour operators and more for selling the increasingly popular U.S. destination.

The tourism board and its regional partners, including Air Canada, extended a warm welcome to industry friends and newcomers at the in-person event, held at Toronto’s Kimpton Saint George Hotel.

Utah is best known for its ‘Mighty 5’ National Parks – Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion – and is a mecca for adventurers of all skill levels and expertise.

At night, Utah dazzles thanks to the state’s Dark Sky Parks, a star-gazer’s dream come true. Utah has the highest concentration of the finest dark skies in the world, according to the list of International Dark Sky Places compiled by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

Utah is also a thriving wellness destination, especially in the ‘red rock oasis’ of Southern Utah, home to some of the top-rated spa resorts in the state. And cities including Salt Lake City, Ogden and Provo have plenty of urban delights, from top restaurants and bars to museums and family-friendly attractions.

Not surprisingly, Utah has developed a loyal following of travellers who love the outdoors, love Utah and return year after year.

Zach Fyne, Global Markets Specialist, Utah Office of Tourism said last night that Utah has been promoting responsible travel long before other destinations.

“Responsible travel is the big buzzword going around the industry these days,” said Fyne. “And we all know in general Canadians are pretty well versed in these principles. But not all travellers and not all destinations are. And it’s actually something that the state of Utah has been leading on well before the pandemic.”

The push started 10 years ago when the Utah Office of Tourism launched a campaign to raise awareness of its Mighty Five national parks. “We promoted how to visit them. And our efforts way outperformed our expectations to the point that we shifted our focus and began promoting traveller dispersion across the state,” says Fyne.

Two years later, the tourism board unveiled a new campaign: Forever Mighty. The campaign was more than a slogan – it was a promise to take a stand to ensure sustainable growth, to encourage travellers exploring Utah to do so thoughtfully and safely by being well-prepared, to engage with local communities, and to celebrate and respect the diversity of the state’s residents and visitors.

“I’m proud to work for an organization that walks the walk,” said Fyne. “And you can see that in our marketing campaigns, our social media posts, every piece of content that we publish on our website, the conversations that we have with tour operators who sell our destination, the education sessions that we do with our local communities, everything is in tune with Forever Mighty principles.”

In keeping with the spirit of ‘walking the walk’, last night’s event eschewed traditional industry gifts – “which we all know usually end up in the back of everybody’s closets anyways,” said Fyne – and instead the tourism board used those funds to make a contribution to an organization called Color The Trails. It’s a group that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC adventures, to have inclusive representation in the outdoors.

Two attendees at last night’s event did walk away with trips to Utah, including roundtrip airfare compliments of Air Canada on its new nonstop service from Toronto to Salt Lake City starting June 2, 2022.

Audrey Tanguay Beaudette, Manager, Sales & Tourism Partnerships for Air Canada, works with tourism boards including the Utah Office of Tourism. “It’s my absolute pleasure to be here with Visit Utah and their partners to celebrate our restart and our launch of our new flight from Toronto to Salt Lake City,” she said. “Some of you might already know that we’ve had a long history of serving Toronto to Salt Lake City. We’ve actually started and suspended the flight twice. But believe us when we say that the third time is the charm to get there.”

In the past Air Canada used regional jets on the route, CRJ 900s, “which were not the right fit for the market,” says Tanguay Beaudette. “Now we will be servicing the route with the Airbus A220 which will enable us to serve the market more efficiently and more economically.”

Air Canada’s Toronto-Salt Lake City route will operate year-round, three times weekly on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays starting June 2. “This is a schedule that is not only very leisure oriented, but the flights are timed for good local traffic and also to facilitate easy connections to and from Europe and beyond through our global hub here in Toronto.”

More information on Forever Mighty can be found at www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/forever.

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