SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Office of Tourism will promote the state's national parks, ski resorts, and other attractions at a gathering for travel trade representatives in Calgary during Gov. Gary R. Herbert's trade mission to Alberta, Canada.
"Canada is Utah's largest international tourism market and we're looking forward to sharing what's new in the industry with travel trade industry leaders in Alberta as we work to increase visitation from that country," said Herbert.
Tour operators, travel agents, media and other invited guests, will join the Utah delegation at a tourism networking event at the residence of Consul General Laura Lochman in Calgary on Tuesday evening, November 1, 2011.
"Canadians spent an estimated $88 million (USD) in Utah last year and we're optimistic they will continue to have a positive impact on our economy," said Spencer P. Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED).
Nearly 306,000 Canadians visited Utah in 2010, according to data from Statistics Canada based in Toronto. Nearly 43 percent of those visitors came from Alberta, followed by the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. More than half are seniors ages 55-74. Seventy percent are parties of two. An estimated 68,000 spent one night in Utah last year.
"Utah has great accessibility and activities to offer the Canadian traveler regardless of the season," said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of GOED. "We're in Canada to showcase what Utah has to offer the snowbirds who will be heading south for the winter. Our research shows if we captured those who stayed overnight last year just an extra half a day, it would generate millions for the state of Utah and our local economies."
More than 60 percent of Utah's visitors from Canada arrive by car. Salt Lake City International Airport also has 26 weekly departures to Canada on Delta Air Lines and its affiliates, including non-stop flights to Calgary and Vancouver. Thirteen weekly departures are direct flights to those cities.
Research shows that a majority of Utah's Canadian visitors are coming for vacation and another 13 percent are coming to visit friends and relatives. About 11 percent own second homes or other property.
St. George's Red Rock Golf Trail is very popular with Canadian golfers. "St. George is a golfer's paradise with a nice variety of challenging but affordable courses," said Joyce Kelly who oversees international marketing for the St. George-Zion Convention and Tourism Office. "Blue skies, very little wind, and mild winter temperatures make conditions ideal for your golf getaway."
Home to five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and "The Greatest Snow on Earth!AE," Utah represents the best of the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. Visitors can enjoy easy access to Utah from the West Coast to scenic vistas, world-class recreation, shopping, dining, and Western culture.