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Viral videos showcasing S. Utah landscape boosts tourism, officials say

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Posted at 10:44 PM, Feb 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 00:44:19-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Tourism in southern Utah is up.

Directors say it is due in part to exposure through YouTube.

The scenic views of Zion National Park, Corona Arch and Bryce Canyon are just some of the backdrops to some of the most popular videos of the last two years. It’s one reason the St. George Tourism Bureau teamed up with popular music video makers “The Piano Guys” to show off those views.

“They have over 3 million subscribers now,” said Kevin Lewis director St George Tourism Bureau Sports Marketing, on the decision to collaborate with The Piano Guys.  “They get over 500 million views on their videos, and many of them are based right out of here, they started right out of here.”

While it’s difficult to gauge specifically how many people visited southern Utah from this campaign, directors say numbers they can track, like revenue dollars have increased significantly in the past year and credit social media campaigns for part of that success.

“We’re 13 percent above last year in tourism revenue,” Lewis said. “And that was 13 percent above the previous years, so we are continually on this cycle of upward. “

Lewis said the tourism bureau is always looking for ways to attract visitors to the area. Major events such as the 100th anniversary of the creation of the of the National Park Service will help, but more, social media is a way to quickly show what the area has to offer.

“Web traffic goes up significantly whenever we sponsor a video or are tied with that,” Lewis said. “So they’re clicking through, they’re coming to our web and seeing more.”

As part of the tourism bureau’s sponsorship of The Piano Guys, the group featured southern Utah backdrops in several videos. YouTubers like Devin Supertramp have also used the red Rocks as a backdrop.

Find The Piano Guys on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePianoGuys

Find Devin Supertramp on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/devinsupertramp