ST. GEORGE — Garfield County Office of Tourism’s advertising campaign “Day Trips for Days” received the Gold Stevie Award for the Travel and Tourism Marketing Campaign in the 17th Annual American Business Awards.
Nicknamed the “Stevies” for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards will be presented to the winners at a gala ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on June 11.
More than 3,800 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year and, of course, Marketing Campaign of the Year, according to a statement from Garfield County.
“We’re so proud to have won this distinction,” Falyn Owens, director of Garfield County Office of Tourism, said in the statement. “The campaign was already a great success in getting visitors to explore our beautiful county, and now with this win, we couldn’t be happier.”
The Bryce Canyon Country Day Trips for Days campaign encouraged visitors to spend more time in the county. The judges called it a “stylish,” “well done” and “very clever campaign” that culminated with “a smart and succinct plan put in place to meet the challenge and continues to have positive spillover.”
As part of the campaign, Garfield County distributed over 18,000 travel guides, created a series of hiking itineraries that were filmed and cut into a series of commercials, and ran a series of billboards near key demographics. Print ads were showcased in prominent magazines such as “Sunset,” “AAA Western Magazine Network,” “Adventure Utah,” “Adventure Outdoors,” “Travel Planner Guide,” “Utah.com” and more.
In 2018 while the campaign was running, 2.5 million people visited Bryce Canyon National Park, a 4.68 percent increase from 2017. There was also a 6.59 percent increase in transient room tax income, which comes from travelers and has significant economic impact and value for local communities and businesses.
Smaller destinations, such as Escalante Petrified Forest, Anasazi Museum State Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park also received an increase in visitation, helping the local communities that rely heavily on tourism for their livelihood.
“The nominations submitted to the 2019 American Business Awards were outstanding,” Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards, said in the statement. “They illustrate the continued vibrancy of innovation and high level of achievement across the American economic landscape.”
More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.