University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus, keynote speaker at the 6th annual Utah Tourism Achievement Awards luncheon, will receive a plaque with a replica of the Feb. 25 Sports Illustrated Magazine story for helping promote Utah with his nationally ranked team.
The luncheon will be held Wednesday, May 8, at noon in the lobby of Symphony Hall. The event is part of National Tourism Week May 5-11 designed to heighten public awareness of the tourism industry and its economic impact. Sponsors include the Utah Travel Council, the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau and the tourism industry in the state.In addition to Majerus' award, there will be other winners of tourism achievement awards for tourism promotion:
- Bicycle Utah will be honored in the regional category because over the last three years, in cooperation with the state's nine travel regions, the company has been promoting cycling by publishing a vacation guide and developing cycling maps for each of the regions.
- Lonnie Campbell, director of international programs at Weber State University, honored in the allied category for attending trade shows for the Golden Spike Empire Travel Region, organizing travel programs for visiting dignitaries, designing special ski racks and designing educational programs for visiting Japanese students.
- Delta Air Lines for promoting the state by flying in journalists, travel agents and meeting planners, sponsoring ski events, golf tournaments and supporting Salt Lake City's Winter Olympics bid.
- Marian Eason, director of the Grand County Travel Council, honored in the professional category for her work for the council for the past six years and the Dinosaurland Travel Region for the past three years, helping develop the state's system of scenic byways and backways and helping select SuperHost, a hospitality program the Utah Division of Travel Development will implement statewide.
According to luncheon organizers, in 1988 (the last year for which complete figures are available), tourist spending in Utah was $2 billion annually, tourism-related employment was 39,800 jobs, total payroll was $496.1 million and taxes generated totaled $297.4 million.