UTAH (ABC4) – Four Utah communities have been awarded the 2022 Destination Development Grant, which aims to help improve and grow their visitor economies.
This year, the Utah Office of Tourism announced that the four winners are Visit Cedar City-Brian Head, Explore Morgan, Tooele County and Millard County.
The goal of the Destination Development Program grant is to empower Utah communities to create, clarify and communicate their qualities as a tourist destination, a press release said.
Recipients will use the grants to initiate the destination development and management process, which engages local leaders and communities to develop locally led and supported tourism plans.
The grant program began in 2015 “as a one-time grant product offering community assessment by destination expert Roger Brooks,” a press release said.
Brooks acted as a first-time visitor, secretly shopping in the destination to identify tourist attractions’ strengths and weaknesses and suggesting incremental improvements.
Two additional grant opportunities have been added since the program’s inception, including Strategic Development Planning and Branding and Marketing Solutions. In 2019, Carbon County and Beaver County served as pilots for the program making full progress through all three programs.
The counties created new brand identities and executed their short-term destination goals to help realize their long-term tourism visions, a spokesperson said.
Other past recipients include Visit Ogden, Visit Park City and Emery County.