All Nippon Airways, the world's seventh largest airline company, has made Utah its choice for Japanese skiers visiting the United States, says Gov. Norm Bangerter.

A daily flight will be sent from Tokyo to Los Angeles, connecting with Delta flights to Salt Lake International Airport, just 30 miles from seven Utah ski resorts, Bangerter said Saturday.All Nippon Airways sent research teams to winter vacation areas in Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California to decide which area to promote as a winter tourist destination.

Utah was chosen because of the proximity of ski areas from Salt Lake City, the quality of snow and excellent hotel accommodations, said airline spokesman Keizo Mori.

"This is an important step forward for Utah to gain recognition in Japan," Bangerter said. "Not only will this open doors for travel between the Far East and Utah, but we anticipate significant new investment potential due to this venture."

Mori estimated 2,000 Japanese skiers will use the new route to visit Utah this winter.