UTAH (ABC4) – Four Utah communities have been awarded the 2022 Destination Development Grant, which is aimed at helping to enhance and develop their visitor economies.

This year the Utah Office of Tourism announced that the four recipients are Visit Cedar City-Brian Head, Explore Morgan, Tooele County, and Millard County.

The goal of the Destination Development program grant is to empower Utah communities to create, clarify, and communicate their qualities as a visitor destination, a press release states.

The recipients will use the grants to begin the destination development and management process, which engages local leaders and communities to develop locally-led and supported tourism plans.

The grant program began in 2015 “as a single grant product that offered a community assessment by destination expert Roger Brooks,” a press release states.

Brooks acted as a first-time visitor, secret shopping the destination to identify the strengths and weaknesses of tourism attractions and suggesting incremental improvements. 

Two additional grant opportunities had been added since the program’s inception including strategic development planning, and branding and marketing solutions. In 2019, Carbon County and Beaver County served as the program’s pilots by fully progressing through all three programs.

The counties created new brand identities and executed their short-term destination goals to help achieve their long-term tourism visions, a spokesperson says.

Other past recipients include Visit Ogden, Visit Park City, and Emery County.