Delta flight to Tokyo in "exploratory stages"
October 17, 2008
Delta Air Lines may begin a flight between Salt Lake City and Tokyo that has the tourism industry excited.
Anthony Black, spokesman for Delta, said the route has not been finalized or announced, but the success of a Salt Lake City-Paris flight has the company considering the Japan route.
The Utah tourism board met last Monday to reappropriate $400,000 to promote the potential flights in Sky Magazine and with 90-second in-flight videos.
Tracy Cayford, deputy director of the Utah Office of Tourism, said the in-flight videos have been successful at promoting the Paris flights. Japanese skiers have been frequent visitors to Canadian resorts, she said.
"(The Japanese) really love the outdoors and the national parks," she said. "Japan is a mature market for Utah and is one of our top international markets."
For decades, tour buses have been taking Asian visitors around the American Southwest and to Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyo.
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Cayford said she envisions Asian visitors skiing northern Utah and visiting national parks in the Southwest in the same trip.
Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said international flights in and out of Salt Lake City have been good for Summit County’s economy.
Summer tourism was improved by the Paris flight, Malone said. The weak dollar is enticing foreign tourists, he said.
Westerns have been popular films in Asia, he said, and visitors enjoy seeing where they were made or supposedly took place.
The tour buses have never brought enough Asian visitors to Park City to warrant marketing there, Malone said. A new flight would change that, and he said the Chamber/Bureau will be "looking very hard at that."
Black from Delta said his company must examine the cost of the route and the demand before airline officials are able to make a decision.
As fuel prices and the economy fluctuate, though, both of those factors could change unpredictably, he said.