SALT LAKE CITY (December 18, 2009)-The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau held its fourth quarter Board of Trustees meeting December 17 at Little America Hotel, at which Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, presented the Board and attendees with a review of the past year's highlights and successes in promoting the state of Utah.

Highlights included video of recent ad campaigns and a snapshot of recent successes:

• Forecasted total visitation to Utah consistently grew in recent years, climbing to 20.4 million visitors in 2008 compared to 20.2 million in 2007, 19.3 million in 2006, 19.1 million in 2005 and 17.5 million in 2004.

• Forecasted total traveler spending also showed a consistent annual increase rising to $7 billion in 2008, up from $6.8 billion in 2007, $5.9 billion in 2006, $5.8 billion in 2005 and $5.6 billion in 2004.

• One of the most important indicators, that of tax relief per household, showed dramatic increases over the past five years, coming in at a forecasted $814 per household for 2008. Previous years' numbers showed a tax relief per household of $700 in 2007, $550 in 2006, $494 in 2005 and $464 in 2004.

• Von der Esch also shared with the group the "Return on Investment" figures, calculated state and local taxes generated for every dollar spent on marketing the state. Summer 2009 came in an impressive forecasted figure of $17.67, rising well above $13.91 in winter 2008, $11.38 for summer 2008, $13.65 for winter 2007, $17.14 for summer of 2007 and $14.66 in winter 2006.

• State and local taxes generated by traveler spending is also on the upswing. In 2008, a forecasted $631 million was added to the state's coffers by travelers, rising above $609 million in 2007, $593 million in 2006, $570 million in 2005 and $547 million in 2004.

• Utah was among the top 10 states realizing spending increases by travelers. The 2006-2007 numbers showed Utah's traveler spending increased by 8.2 percent, according to the latest information from the U.S. Travel Association. Other states in the top 10 included North Dakota at 9.4 percent, Maine at 8.8 percent, New York at 8.5 percent, Oklahoma at 8.5 percent, Montana at 8.4 percent, Wyoming at 8.3 percent, Colorado at 7.7 percent, Iowa at 7.7 percent and Louisiana at 34 percent, a rise attributed to a post Hurricane Katrina surge in tourism.

About the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. The SLCVB's mission is to improve the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to

About Utah
Home to five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and "The Greatest Snow on Earth®," Utah represents the best of both the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. Whether it's heart-thumping downhill skiing, picturesque fly fishing, life-defying rock climbing, serene bird watching, thrill-seeking white water rafting or just communing with nature, Utah has it all - holding true to the state's "Life Elevated" brand.

To contact the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, please visit or call (800) 200-1160 or (801) 538-1900.