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Southern Utah News Front Page: September 14, 2017
Kanab International Tourism Training
The tourism conference was sponsored by the Kane County Office of Tourism (KCOT) and the Kane Area Chamber of Commerce (l-r): Colette Cox Chamber of Commerce, Megan Fox KCOT, Danielle Ramsay KCOT, Roxanne Leonard Chamber of Commerce President, Sarah Harwardt UOT Germany, Nora Saar UOT UK, Jenni Bridgeman UOT UK, Camille Johnson Director KCOT, Derek Yang UOT China, Jayme Church KCOT.
The Kanab International Tourism Training meeting was held at Southwest Applied Technology College on Monday, September 11. The training was sponsored by the Kane County Office of Tourism and Kane Area Chamber of Commerce and was attended by community businesses and the Kanab High School Hospitality Class.
This unique training opportunity provided presentations on the traveling cultures of Germany, China and the United Kingdom to give insights on how to improve business with customers from these countries. Last year the training featured Olivier Barthez, the Utah Office of Tourism representative in France, who did a presentation on French culture and about working with them in tourism.
This year, the Utah Office of Tourism representatives from Germany, China and the United Kingdom each made presentations on how their cultures differ from Americans’, how travelers from their countries book travel, and what experiences they are looking for with lodging, dining, activities and retail. This is the first time representatives from these countries have presented to Kane County businesses. The valuable insights shared by the representatives will help community businesses broaden their appeal to international visitors.
Kane County Director of Tourism Camille Johnson said, “About 40 percent of our visitors to Kane County are international. It is important for our local businesses to better understand the cultural differences of our key markets, and learn how to be more bookable and offer products and services that appeal internationally.”
This class gave some interesting insights to help community businesses make improvements to grow tourism in our amazing county.
The presenters were Derek Yang, an expert in China’s outbound tourism and hospitality industry, Nora Saar and Sarah Harwardt, from Harwardt PR and Marketing, who handle the market representation for the Utah Office of Tourism in Germany, and Jenni Bridgeman, Utah Office of Tourism’s Trade Account Director promoting Utah to the United Kingdom travel trade.
The representatives all came to Kane County a couple of days early to spend time and learn more about this beautiful area so they could share it with travel professionals in their markets. Kane County Office of Tourism has worked closely with each of them to host tour operators and media professionals on familiarization tours, which translates to more visitors from their countries spending time and money in Kane County.
“Our office is working on multiple international fronts to diversify our visitors and particularly increase visitation in our slower months. China is a key winter market for us and we have recently entered the Australian and New Zealand market as their primary travel months are in our winter, which is their summer. We are excited to aggressively go after this market over the next several years. We hope to host our in-country reps from Canada, Australia and New Zealand for a business training in Kane County by 2020,” said Johnson.
This event was a rare opportunity to hear from representatives from China, Germany and the United Kingdom, and was the first time they have presented in Kane County. It may be several more years before another presentation like this will be offered from these in-country representatives.
The Kane County Office of Tourism organized a wonderful event to help our community businesses grow and improve their services as they strive to welcome international tourists to our beautiful state.