Salt Lake City– After a century of rating restaurants and destinations, Michelin, publishers of the iconic Michelin Guides for travelers, has awarded Utah the very first three-star designation for a state.
“Utah is a beautiful state, a destination worth making a special trip for American and international visitors, including the French who love it,” said Philippe Orain, Editorial Director of Le Guide Vert Michelin. “I am happy and glad to give this recognition for the high quality of service, the beauty of its world class landscapes, and the concentration of three Michelin Star National Parks (the highest of the U.S. with Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands).”
The Michelin Green Guides allow travelers to quickly identify a destination’s most outstanding attractions thanks to a “star” system. The Michelin rating system for destinations is similar to their restaurant ratings. One star indicates an “interesting” attraction or destination, two stars indicate a place “worth a detour” if travelers are already in the area, and three stars means exceptional, worth a special journey in itself.”
The editors of the guide use nine weighted criteria to evaluate a destination, and three stars were awarded to Utah mostly in recognition of local hospitality, visitors’ accessibility to hidden gems and The Mighty 5Ⓡ national parks. Usually, Michelin stars are awarded to a particular destination within a state. This is the first time the editors have awarded an entire state the prestigious three star distinction.
“This coveted Michelin recognition is a huge honor to our state. It will attract visitors from France and all around the world — those who appreciate our spectacular landscapes and western hospitality,” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism and Film. “This fits beautifully with our Red Emerald business strategy to attract discerning customers who will stay longer, spend more and get off the beaten path.”
Utah is included in Michelin’s Green Guide for the Southwest United States. The authors regularly visit the destinations included in the guide. They pay their admission to sites and may then introduce themselves and ask for more information about the attraction. Michelin receives more than 1,000 letters from readers every year, providing valuable information used in selecting destinations. Michelin’s independence and legacy of identifying the very best travel destinations around the world make this recognition a remarkable honor for the state of Utah.