Have we ever considered what’s enough?
The travel council spent $2.37 million on “national promotions” in 2017 according to the Grand County budget, and is slated to spend a similar amount in 2018. Yikes. Grand County’s transient room tax revenues fund these expenditures. The Utah Code requires a significant portion of the TRT money be spent on “establishing and promoting recreation, tourism, film productio, and conventions,” rather than mitigating impacts of tourism. However, there’s still flexibility for this chunk of the TRT money. And there is clearly no requirement that $2.37 million be spent on out-of-state national promotions to bring more tourists to Moab.
The good news is that the Grand County Council has the authority to direct how the travel council spends its $2.4 million allocation of the TRT revenue. Rather than paying advertising firms in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City or Denver for promotions aimed at drawing more tourists to Grand County, the travel council could use most of its TRT money for locally created advertising campaigns to educate visitors on how to recreate responsibly to not destroy the landscape they came here to see in the first place.
It’s a win-win. More TRT revenue would stay in Grand County paying local businesses and their employees for the “local” advertising and education materials rather than going to out-of-state advertising agencies, and tourists would be better informed on recreating responsibly. What’s not to like about that?