About 200 San Diego residents daily are calling for information about Utah, but state officials say it is too early to know whether a television ad campaign in that city is successful.
Jay Woolley, director of the state Travel Council, said the state will survey the people who called later this year to find out how many actually visited Utah."We need to find out if the calls actually convert to revenue," he said. "We have all the names and addresses of the people who have called."
Only one 60-second commercial is being used in the $80,000 campaign. San Diego television stations have shown the ad during the past three weeks.
Called "Backyard Vacation," the commercial emphasizes how easy it is to get to Utah and encourages people to call a toll-free number for more information. Those who call are mailed three travel brochures within days.
The ad is unique in that it is the first time the state has included a toll-free number with a commercial. San Diego was chosen because it was the largest metropolitan area with television rates the Travel Council could afford.
State officials hope the commercial attracts families and wealthier tourists looking for a place to visit during an extended weekend. Although the summer vacation season is halfway over, the ad is directed at people who take trips without a great deal of planning.
"We have found there is a nationwide trend. People are taking more vacations these days, but they're taking them on weekends when they have Friday and Monday off," Woolley said.
"The weekend extension is becoming more popular, particularly with people with money to spend."
The ad features scenes from Bryce Canyon, making it appear as if the canyon is in the backyard of a California family. It also uses footage from "Impressions of Utah," a promotional film produced by the Travel Council.
If state officials determine the commercial was successful, they will use similar ads in an extended campaign next year.