Kathy Hanna-Smith named to Utah Tourism Board
It's hard to think of much that Kathy Hanna-Smith hasn't done in her years living in Carbon County. From being the Executive Director of the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce to being a Price City Council member, she has always been involved and dedicated to elevating the image of and business in Carbon County.
In June of this year she reached another goal, one she is very proud of. She was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert as a board member on the Utah Office of Tourism.
The Utah Office of Tourism promotes tourism into the state through advertising and media contacts. They are an office within the Governor's Office of Economic Development. According to their website their mission is "to improve the quality of life of Utah citizens through revenue and tax relief, by increasing the quality and quantity of tourism visits and spending."
Having been the Director of Tourism for Carbon County for many years, this position is a natural for Hanna-Smith. She now serves on that board representing Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties. Over the years she also was a member of the Utah Travel Regions and the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition.
"I know all the region directors very well, some better than others," she stated on Tuesday afternoon. "I will encourage them to be in touch with me so I can carry their message back to the state."
Hanna-Smith attended her first board function in Salt Lake City and as part of the marketing committee of the board she said the group heard from the Sundance Film Institute, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, and Outdoor Utah. The groups had requested $255,000 from the state to further their events.
In August, she went to her first actual board meeting and the committee went over marketing requests, heard a presentation from Ski Utah and saw what will be the winter marketing campaign for the state which was provided by Struck Marketing Company.
Hanna-Smith said the five goals of the state office of tourism include creating an integrated global brand, engaging customers with personal and persuasive communications, to strengthen tourism partner relations, to improve the state's welcome mat and communicate tourism's value to the economy.
Hanna-Smith is the fourth Castle Country resident named to a state position by the governor this year. The list includes Bob Pero (Utah State Tax Commission), Delynn Fielding (Utah State office of Economic Development) and Sam Chiara (8th Judicial District Court). Hanna-Smith's term on the board is for four years.
Hanna-Smith says that nearly every county in the state applied for some money this past funding term.
"There are many benefits to local regions becoming and staying active with the state office of tourism," said Hanna-Smith. "One that is especially important is the cooperative marketing fund where tourism related non-profits can apply for funds for out-of-state promotion. It's a 50-50 match (in dollars) and it is an incredible opportunity."
The state office also holds a state tourism conference each year and that conference is held in various locations.
"We have hosted it twice that I know of," said Hanna-Smith referring to Carbon County. "It's where you meet up with tourism professionals and learn what is new in the industry. The networking at the conferences is so valuable."
Tourism in Utah is big business. In 2012 the Utah tourism industry employed over 118,000 people and generated jobs in every county in the state. In the span from 2011 to 2012 the number of businesses that are related to tourism grew seven percent, from 4,926 businesses to 5,252. This year 32 new hotels will open in the state increasing the current inventory of rooms (47,000) by 2,800.
Hanna-Smith currently works as the director of marketing, sales and public relations for the Tuscan Restaurant and Event Center in Price. She and her husband Dave also own and operate the Lazy S Storage Units on Highway 10.
In 2010 Hanna-Smith was inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame for her many contributions to the tourism industry. both locally and statewide.