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Using the resumption of flights between Salt Lake City and Tokyo as a celebration point, representatives of Utah's tourism industry have been in Los Angeles this week pitching the state on two economic fronts.

One prong targeted tour operators who bring bus-sized groups to the United States, many from Asia.

"This market is extremely important to the year-round health of the lodging industry. International visitation sustains us, so having this flight re-launched is great for business in Utah," said Lance Syrett, general manager of Ruby's Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park, in a news release from the Utah Office of Tourism.

Syrett was part of a public/private tourism team that paired with Delta Air Lines executives to woo the tour operators, a week after Delta resumed its five-days-a-week flights between Salt Lake City International Airport and Tokyo's Narita Airport. The seasonal flight, which costs roughly $1,500 for a coach seat, was suspended last fall.

The Tourism Office's promotion was reinforced by Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, who also helped lead a state effort to impress the motion picture industry.

Eccles supported Utah Film Commission members who were touting new incentives that the state's Motion Picture Incentive Programs offer to encourage film companies to shoot movies, television shows and commercials in the Beehive State.

They did so, along with several regional Utah film offices, at the Association of Film Commissioners International Locations Trade Show at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Hundreds of film commissions from over 40 countries attended the conference.

"This event lets Hollywood know — studio executives, independent producers and decision makers — that our locations can't be beat, and that filming in Utah is now even more competitive. We want Utah to always be on their short lists," said Film Commission Chairman Marshall Moore, adding that more than 800 skilled crew members live in the state, whose colleges and universities also offer degrees in film and digital media.

He drew support from fellow speakers Martha Williamson, producer of television programs "Touched by an Angel" and "Facts of Life," and Don Schain, who produced all three "High School Musical" movies. All were filmed in Utah. —

International flight

Tourism officials hope the resumption of Delta Air Line's Salt Lake City-Tokyo connection will bring more tourist groups over on the flight, which costs roughly $1,500 per seat for coach.