June 28, 2018

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.


About the Utah Office of Tourism

The Utah Office of Tourism’s mission is to “improve the quality of life of Utah citizens through revenue and tax relief, by increasing the quality and quantity of tourism visits and spending.” UOT fulfils this mission through marketing and advertising, research, publications, information services, media relations and cooperative marketing programs.

About Le Guide Vert Michelin (Michelin Green Guides)

The collection of Michelin Green Guides allows travelers to see in a glance a destination’s most outstanding attractions thanks to a “star” system. The guides also provide readers with reliable, up-to-date information about a country, region or city, immediately reveal the secrets to a successful stay and make traveling easier and more enjoyable. Each tourist site is evaluated on nine criteria developed independently by the authors of the Michelin Green Guide. The authors were chosen for their ability to identify the intrinsic value of a city, site or other attraction, regardless of when it is visited, and they apply the same methods for all guides and destinations, under the coordination of the Michelin project leader (editor and author as well).

The criteria cover:

1.First impression on the visitor

2.Renown or popularity

3.Number of monuments and/or museums to visit (for a cultural destination), or number of activities (for leisure destinations)

4.Awards and other official forms of recognition

5.Intrinsic artistic value or historical significance of a site or work of art

6.Beauty and esthetic qualities

7.Authenticity, charm and unity

8.Convenience and visitor-friendliness (infrastructure, accessibility, upkeep, etc.)

9.Quality of reception and visit

Each Criteria is rated from 0 to 5 and the criteria is weighted from 1 to 3. Decisions are taken by the whole editorial (Destination leaders + Chief Editor) team during the validation cessions at the end of the year. ###