Travel Trade Journal
Utah Office of Tourism
Zach Fyne Global Markets Specialist, Utah Office of Tourism
The year 2022: While overall visitation to our Mighty 5® national parks was not as high as during the pandemic, we’ve seen visitation rise anywhere from 13 to 35 per cent increases over the same period in 2019 at each of our parks, including Arches National Park who debuted their new timed-entry permit system in 2022. And our partners at Ski Utah reported recordbreaking visitation numbers (5.8 million visits) at our 15 ski resorts last winter season. The delays in visa processing for many countries, including India, have been a significant obstacle in our international tourism recovery. However, we’re excited that the brand new rebuild of our Salt Lake City International Airport in 2020 has translated into new international routes opening in Toronto and Frankfurt this year.
We launched our first official efforts in the Indian market by partnering with AVIAREPS India to manage our account activities starting in mid2021. The past year was a continued education for our office on how best to showcase Utah’s prime assets to a growing and more affluent traveller market in India. Our team based in Mumbai has spent 2022 traveling across the country and beyond to get the brand awareness and word out about our destination. Partnering with several affluent consumer media mediums and maintaining a presence on our India targeted Facebook page and Instagram have been top efforts to reach the consumer market.
New Developments: Our state has worked extensively with the International Dark-Sky Association to certify as many areas of our state as optimal areas to take in the night sky, and we now have 24 areas and towns on their register, including all five of our national parks. Utah has been developing into the glamping capitol of the world and the pandemic helped to accelerate that trend. There have been new properties coming online throughout the year for visitors to stay in tipis, glass domes, Conestoga wagons, RVs, safari tents and more unique lodging options across our diverse landscapes.
Preparedness and expectations from India market in 2023: With the continued travel restrictions in the China market, our office has really leaned heavily on the India market to make up for that expected dip in the Asia Pacific market that we’re predicting for 2023. We’re expecting to make additional strides in recovering our international traveller volume in 2023, and projections have shown a more complete recovery by 2024.