Foreign markets provide important tourism to Utah
While most Americans do not know where Kushiro, Koblenz and Barrow-In-Furness are located, they do not understand that in the rest of the worlds mind, mostly what they know about the United States consists of New York, Los Angeles and of course, Las Vegas. Names of places like Salt Lake City, Boise or Denver seldom register with them. Even states such as Utah, Arizona and Colorado, if known about at all, are just "somewhere in the United States."
"What we do, because states and cities here are not well known to my countrymen, is that we market Utah regionally," said Osamu Hoshino. "For instance people know the images of the national parks such as Delicate Arch, Zions, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. They don't know what state they are in, but they do know the region and they want to see those things."
Hoshino is one of dozens of agents the state of Utah has around the world promoting the state.
"German's are the worlds champion travelers," said Sebastian Stauder who works in Germany promoting the Beehive state. "There are 83 million people in a country the size of Montana. They get a lot of what Americans call vacation and they travel a great deal. Their expenditures equal 11.1 percent of the worlds travel money spent. And for those that are taking long trips, 25 percent of them come to the United States."
Many foreign visitors look to the U.S. for a unique visit. They are used to what is in their countries and want to see Americana.
"Europeans are looking for America," said Nigel McShine-Jones, who works in the United Kingdom. "They are not looking for a good French restaurant or a European style bed and breakfast when they come here. They are looking for what they have seen on television and in movies. When they are in the western United States, that is what they want."
The middle class in Europe is large and has been traveling to the U.S. for a long time, and Japan has sent tourist for many years too. But new markets for Utah to approach are opening up. A good example is China, a country of a billion and a half people and one where the middle class is growing rapidly.
"In the United Kingdom there are a lot of people ready to travel to the U.S." said McShine-Jones. "They are baby boomers with disposable income and empty nests. A lot of them have been here before and want to come back and see more."
Stauder said the same thing is true in Germany.
"Travel to the United States is inexpensive right now," he stated. "And many middle aged Germans traveled in the United States when they were teenagers. Now they want to come back."
"We work with a lot of icon tour catalogues in my country," stated Hoshino. "We do destination development seminars with people to find out what they want to see when they come here. The regional emphasis in this area is something like 'Tour the Colorado River' because they understand the things they want to visit are along that corridor."