Compendium of Budget Information for the 2012 General Session
|Business, Economic Development, & Labor|
|Subcommittee Table of Contents|
The Office of Tourism (UOT) exists to brand and promote Utah's great experiences and destinations to visitors and citizens in an inspiring way and to support and enhance economic vitality and quality of life in Utah.
Statutory authority for the Office of Tourism is provided in UCA 63M-1-1404.
The Office of Tourism is the tourism development authority of the state. It is responsible for:
Under Section 63J-1-603 of the Utah Code, the Legislature intends that appropriations provided for the Office of Tourism line item in Item 86 of Chapter 2 Laws of Utah 2010 not lapse at the close of Fiscal Year 2011. The use of any nonlapsing funds is limited to contractual obligations and support - $350,000, and film incentives - $5,417,800.
Under Section 63J-1-603 of the Utah Code, the Legislature intends that appropriations provided for the Office of Tourism, Advertising and Promotion program in Item 190 of Chapter 408 Laws of Utah 2010 and Item 119 of Chapter 414 Laws of Utah 2010 not lapse at the close of Fiscal Year 2011. The use of any nonlapsing funds is limited to advertising and promotion - $6,950,000.
Office of Tourism funding is utilized mainly for staff and an advertising budget. The Office's base operations budget comes from the General Fund. In the 2005 General Session the Legislature created a Tourism Marketing Performance Fund with a performance based funding mechanism linked to increases in sales tax revenue for 21 tourism related industries. Under the mechanism appropriations from the General Fund would decrease annually. There is a small appropriation from Transportation Fund to fund Welcome Centers statewide.
Welcome Centers are located at the gateways to Utah. They provide free travel information and restrooms. Several of the Welcome Centers have kiosks with Internet access.
Tourism Administration is responsible for providing direction to the Office of Tourism. Responsibilities include applied research, coordination of tourism programs, strategic planning, and branding the state globally. Additionally, the Utah Film Commission reports to the Managing Director of the Office of Tourism.
Appropriations to this program come from the General Fund.
The Operations and Fulfillment program is responsible for media, publications, information services, distribution, interagency cooperation, coordination of the scenic byway program, and special projects. Staff distributes information to journalists, the traveling public, Web requests and 800-number inquiries.
Operations and Fullfillment provides promotional materials at national and state scenic byways. Scenic byways are areas designated by the State or federal government for archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and/or scenic qualities.
Interagency and Public-Private Partnerships
The Office of Tourism maintains key industry partnerships with entities such as the Travel Industry Association (TIA), Canyon Country Partnership, Ski Utah, Western States Tourism Policy Council, National Council of State Tourism Directors, Travel and Tourism Research Association, Utah Travel Regions and Utah Tourism Industry Coalition, Temple Square's Visitor Activities Coordinating Committee (VACC), and the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Utah Scenic Calendar and the Utah Travel Guide are annual publications produced and distributed by the Office of Tourism. The UOT re-designed the Utah Travel Guides and the calendar to increase exposure of the attractive images of the state.
The Office contracts for the tourism information portion of Utah's five gateway welcome centers. Each welcome center received $65,000 for administration and operations.
The Tourism Trade Program educates and assists the travel industry about travel opportunities within Utah. The staff coordinates efforts between out of state travel advisors and in-state providers.
Familiarization tours are conducted with media and tour operators from around the world. Throughout the year, approximately 100 familiarization tours are executed. The Office of Tourism maintains international representation in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. On behalf of UOT the organizations work to increase consumer awareness in their markets by working with the media. They serve as fulfillment houses to distribute Utah information to consumers.
Funding for the Operations and Tourism Trade programs supports staff and Welcome Centers. Federal funds and Transportation Funds are utilized to fund Welcome Centers statewide. The program also receives dedicated credit revenues for services provided.
The Marketing and Advertising program is responsible for the overall Utah tourism brand, marketing, advertising and promotional plans. The overall goal of the Marketing Program is to increase the national and international awareness, inquiries, and tourism visits to Utah. Key measures include total tourism visits, length of stay, repeat visitors, and person per day spending. Staff oversees the advertising agency contract and the budget, which includes the Cooperative Marketing Program. In addition, the Utah Sports Commission receives 10 percent of the appropriation to the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund to promote Utah through sports events.
Increasing out-of-state visitation involves branding, advertising, sales, and promotion activities directed towards consumers, media, and the travel trade. Promotional and development activities are used in the selling of Utah to the same audiences and include sales missions, consumer and trade shows. Market research is used to identify these appropriate markets, as well as geographic, activity-based, and emerging markets. Efforts are coordinated with city, county, convention and visitor bureaus, vacation destinations, and inter-agency offices and programs.
Funding for the program is appropriated out of the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund. Funding for this restricted account comes from General Fund appropriations and earmarked sales tax revenues. The appropriation for the restricted account shows up in the Transfer section of this report.
The Utah Film Commission markets the entire state as a destination for the motion picture, television, and commercial industries to promote job creation and increase exposure of the state.
The Film Commission funding comes from the General Fund and the Motion Picture Incentive Fund. Nonlapsing balances increased from FY 2010 to FY 2011 due to the transition of the film incentive program from an appropriation based program to a tax credit program and the span of contracts over multiple years.