San Juan County Economic Development & Visitor Services (EDVS) Column: Travel Trade and new office website
Article featured in the San Juan Record, 4 July 2018, see article here
Recently our office attended the US Travel Association's IPW travel trade show. Travel trade shows are a mechanism for suppliers including destination marketing organizations (DMO’s), like ourselves, to meet with travel buyers (tour operators, travel agents, etc). IPW is unique in the sense that it brings together travel buyers and media from more than 70 countries, allowing us to build relationships, educate, and promote our region to existing and future buyers.
The marketplace is a large convention center space where all the meetings between suppliers and buyers take place. Each supplier has a booth, while the buyers shift from booth to booth per their appointment schedule. All appointments are twenty-two minutes in length. As buyers our booths are all grouped regionally starting from the country, to the region, to the state. This year the state of Utah was well represented with a multi-booth Utah section, various other DMO’s, as well as many Utah businesses (including Desert Rose and Gouldings). All appointments between suppliers and buyers are pre-scheduled based off of multiple factors including mutual appointment requests, similar interests/activities, existing relationships, and more. This year we had forty-five pre-scheduled, formal appointments with various other meetings and conversations throughout the duration of the trade show. Appointments included domestic contacts from areas including Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, California, Texas, and Philadelphia; as well as international contacts including China, Italy, Korea, Australia, France, Romania, Indonesia, Germany, Israel, Chile, Finland, Japan, UK, and Canada. Trends from our meetings reflect a desire for extending trips one to two additional days within San Juan County, tailor made FIT (foreign independent traveler) itineraries, unique/eclectic lodging, and overall questions and demand for activities. Currently we are in the process of responding to all the meetings, as well as making warm hand-off’s to buyers and businesses throughout the county.
At this IPW show we were honored to receive a three-star Michelin destination award for Canyonlands National Park. Michelin, known for their ratings of restaurants and destinations, publishes the Michelin Green Guides for travelers. The Michelin Green Guides, or Le Guide Vert Michelin, allow travellers to quickly identify a destination’s most outstanding attractions with their star system. The three-star, also highest, ranking indicates that an area is an “exception[al], worth a special journey in itself.” We find that this meets the county’s strategy to attract discerning customers who will stay longer, spend more and get off the beaten path.
We also would like to announce the launch of our office’s new website, www.utahscanyoncountry.com. This website’s landing page serves as the landing page for all visitors looking to visit San Juan County--Utah’s Canyon Country. The site features visitor itineraries, things to do, regional information, lodging, restaurants, business directory and more. Each business has its own personal landing page, we ask all businesses to see if you are listed on the site, and/or if there are any updates to your listing. Please note there is no charge for this listing, as the role of our office is to provide information. If you would like to be listed, or need to edit your listing please reach out to our office 435-587-3235 or [email protected]