Utah tourism officials tout direct flights, film industry

Jun 7 2011 - 5:48pm

LOS ANGELES - Utah tourism officials and Delta Air Lines executives met with select tour operators Wednesday at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles to tout the re-launch of non-stop Delta flights between Salt Lake City, Utah and Tokyo, Japan. Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, also spoke to the group on how a re-launch of direct service between Japan and Utah supports Governor Gary R. Herbert's vision to make Utah "a premier global business destination."

Utah officials were joined by members of Utah's lodging and hospitality industry, who rely on travel from Asia. "This market is extremely important to the year-round health of the lodging industry," said Lance Syrett, general manager of Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon City, Utah. "International visitation sustains us, so having this flight re-launched is great for business in Utah."

The flight resumed June 1st, with five day weekly service between Salt Lake City International Airport and Tokyo's Narita Airport through October.

That evening, Hollywood's production community joined the Utah Film Commission (UFC) and state officials to discuss the new incentive offered through Utah's Motion Picture Incentive Program. Motion picture executives were encouraged to consider that Utah now has up to a 25% tax rebate for motion pictures filmed in the state. Speakers included producers Martha Williamson (Touched by an Angel, Facts of Life) who shared her positive experiences shooting projects in Utah, Don Schain (High School Musical I,II,III), and Marshall Moore, director of the Utah Film Commission.

"This event lets Hollywood know - from the studio executives, independent producers and the decision makers - that our locations can't be beat, and that filming in Utah is now even more competitive," said Moore. "Today teams of people are assembled at the networks and studios to determine where the best location is for a particular production, and we want Utah to always be on their short list."

Utah maintains a highly-skilled workforce of over 800 full-time crew members who reside in the state. Many of Utah's colleges and universities also offer degrees in film and digital media creating an abundance of future professional talent.

UFC officials then joined several regional Utah film offices for the weekend at the Association of Film Commissioners International Locations Trade Show at Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. Hundreds of film commissions from over 40 countries attended the conference, where Utah delegates promoted the new film incentive along with the state's excellent crew base, infrastructure, and locations.

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 both the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. For more information, contact the Utah Office of Tourism at (801) 538-1030, or visit www.visitutah.com. For more information about filming in Utah, call the Utah Film Commission at (801) 538-8740, or visit www.film.utah.gov.

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