As the weather heats up (officially a dry heat) and the school year winds down, the U.S. Travel Association has declared this week National Tourism Week. In conjunction with this, Governor Brewer issued a proclamation yesterday designating this week as “Arizona Travel and Tourism Days,” to highlight Arizona’s tremendous travel and tourism industry.
With destinations from Jerome to the Grand Canyon, and Winslow to Window Rock, Arizona offers a broad range of tourist attractions that generate more than $19 billion in direct visitor spending a year. This results in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues for the state, and directly supports 161,300 jobs.
The success of our tourism industry is a result of these interesting attractions, a beautiful climate and the work of many incredibly smart, dedicated people. Debbie Johnson and her team at the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, Sherry Henry at the Arizona Office of Tourism and Steve Moore at the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau do a wonderful job telling the Arizona story – that Arizona is not only open for business, but also open for vacation. And between the Fiesta and Buffalo Wild Wings Bowls, the Waste Management Open, another record-breaking year for the Cactus League, and the 2015 Superbowl, it’s clear that Arizona is also becoming a premiere destination for sports tourism.
This is important because tourism is a base industry for our state (one of the original 5 C’s is “Climate” after all), and the more people who come to our state to visit, the more people decide to stay in our state and contribute even more to our economic growth.
While the rest of the country recovers from a brutal winter, courtesy of the polar vortex, we in Arizona are transitioning from Spring Training to summer stay-cations. “Arizona Travel and Tourism Days” is a welcome opportunity to remember just how lucky we are to live and work in such an interesting, diverse and fun state.