For the upcoming 2018 year, the Garfield County Office of Tourism recently received a $175,500 match in cooperative marketing funds from the Utah Office of Tourism Board.

Cooperative marketing funds, also referred to as “co-op” funds, are used to help areas in Utah increase tourism from out-of-state visitors. 

“We are fortunate to have received a generous amount of co-op funds from the Utah Office of Tourism for 2018,” said Falyn Owens, executive director of the Garfield County Office of Tourism. “With this money, we will be able to promote all of the adventures offered in Garfield County and bring more visitors from out of state.”

The co-op funds awarded to Garfield County will be used to promote a wide range of recreational activities as well as other cultural activities and scenic treasures specific to Garfield County. The money will go towards digital advertising, partnering with online brands, television ads, print media, social media advertising and much more in order to increase tourism from out-of-state visitors within Garfield County.

The main objectives with the co-op funds is to increase the number of out-of-state visitors to Utah by partnering with the state tourism office and leveraging out-of-state marketing dollars. As this is done, brand awareness for both Garfield County and the state of Utah will increase.  

For the 2018 year, the Utah Board of Tourism, under the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, put forth a total of $3.4 million in co-op funds for out-of-state tourism initiatives. This year, the board’s co-op committee reviewed 68 applications, and strict rules and performance measurements were taken with each applicant.

Because of the numerous applicants and limited funds, each qualifying applicant receives up to 70 to 85 percent of what was requested. The funds are then distributed once the board receives the Return on Investment (ROI) reports from the applicant.

According to the Utah Office of Tourism, last year alone, $8.17 billion was spent by travelers in Utah, which generated $1.15 billion in local and state tax revenues. The Utah Office of Tourism has up to this year funded 539 applications, resulting in a total of $26,624,423, extending the state’s out-of-state marketing dollars to over $53,000,000.