Gizler elected to national travel organization board

Elaine Gizler was recently elected to the U.S. Travel Association’s board of directors as an at-large representative.

Moab Area Travel Council Executive Director Elaine Gizler. Photo by Doug McMurdo
Moab Area Travel Council Executive Director Elaine Gizler. Photo by Doug McMurdo

Her election is more than a feather in her cap. Gizler during her two-year term hopes to advocate for rural Utah tourism, particularly regarding the negative impacts that often come with a strong tourism economy in places that don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle the load.

“This is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for all tourism issues,” said Gizler during an interview Monday, Feb. 24. She said she was elected from members of the roughly 1,100 organizations that belong to the U.S. Travel Association, and was grateful for Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, whom she said was very supportive of Gizler’s election.

Once she gets her feet wet and understands the dynamic of how the association operates, Gizler, who attends her first meeting April 3 in Washington, D.C., said she would be a voice for tourism communities in rural Utah.

“I hope I can address the challenges that come from tourism — which we need — and how it impacts rural Utah.”

She deferred to the Grand County Council on how she would address those impacts. “Since I’m not an elected official in Grand County, I would need approval of the Grand County Council and council administrators,” she said.

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s website, the travel industry in the U.S. adds $2.5 trillion to the economy and supports nearly 16 million American jobs.

Here’s how the Association explains its mission: “As the united voice of the industry, U.S. Travel prioritizes high-impact issues that matter most to our collective membership. We not only identify the industry’s biggest opportunities and challenges, but also develop the messages and actions to create positive growth. We advocate for policies that will advance and elevate our industry on the national level, engaging our members with the tools, research and resources needed to influence change at state and local levels.”