Debbie Johnson Archives

Female leaders rise up in Arizona tourism industry

HSMAI - Tourism

It might surprise people to know that tourism generates more money for Arizona than aerospace, agriculture, microelectronics and mining. And leading that $20-billion-a-year economic juggernaut are a bunch of women. Debbie Johnson is president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, Sherry Henry is executive director of the Arizona Office of Tourism and… Read More →

AzLTA capitalizes on state’s ability to host big events


Debbie Johnson thought she was just coming for a race at Phoenix International Raceway when she visited Arizona in April of 1986. “I was living in Wyoming at the time,” recalls the president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA). “We flew back into Denver to drive up to Wyoming and got… Read More →

Increasing tourism shows importance of Arizona’s brand

Hiking Adventures - EAZ Fall-Winter 2012

The latest data on Arizona’s tourism industry says that business is on the upswing, which is good news for a state looking to put the Great Recession in its rearview mirror. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, the number of people visiting Arizona has surged back to pre-recession levels, providing a much needed injection… Read More →

Sky Harbor Sets Record for Passengers

Sky Harbor Airport

March 2014 was the busiest month in the history of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. More than 4 million passengers traveled through Phoenix Sky Harbor in March, 4,029,861 to be exact. That marked a 3.2 percent increase over March of 2013 and the first time the Phoenix airport has seen more than 4 million passengers… Read More →

Arizona hoteliers earn national awards

19648 C-Empty pool

Arizona took center stage and took home two national awards at the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) annual Stars of the Industry awards ceremony held this week in Washington, DC. The “Outstanding Manager of the Year, Large Property” was awarded to Thomas Williams, Director of Guest Services at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Williams has… Read More →

Restaurants serve super-sized economic impact


Think about the celebration that occurred after Arizona was awarded  the 2015 Super Bowl. Much of that excitement came because of the economic impact the Super Bowl will have on the state. But the restaurant industry in Arizona generates revenue equivalent to hosting two Super Bowls a month. “Restaurants are critical to Arizona’s visitor industry… Read More →

Tourism groups’ merger gives industry more strength and unity

by in Economy | Featured

Call it strength in numbers, or strength in unity. “With the challenges that the tourism industry has faced over the past several years, our industry has had to come together to better vocalize the importance of tourism to Arizona’s economy,” says Debbie Johnson, a longtime advocate of Arizona tourism. “In doing so, it became evidently… Read More →

Studies Show That Every Dollar Invested In Tourism Returns At Least Double That Amount

Enchantment Resort in Sedona - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Forests of Saguaro cacti lit by fiery red and orange sunsets, gun-toting cowboys staging shoot-outs, and the Grand Canyon’s striated walls looming over the Colorado River. One would think these distinctly Arizona images could sell themselves. Unfortunately, Arizona’s tourism industry is learning the hard way that it takes more than just the state’s natural beauty… Read More →

In Troubled Times, Meeting Planners Are Learning To Be Advocates For Their Industry

Meeting Planners Are Learning To Be Advocates - AZ Business Magazine Sep/Oct 2010

Politics, economic setbacks and disasters of all kinds pose constant threats to the meetings industry. But increasingly, MPI, its members and others associated with meeting planning, are taking steps to be advocates for their industry before problems arise. Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel Company in St. Louis, wants her peers to “pay… Read More →

Q&A With Debbie Johnson, Executive Director Of The Arizona Tourism Alliance

Debbie Johnson Executive Director, Arizona Tourism Alliance Debbie Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Tourism Alliance, is a major force in the Valley and state’s tourism and hospitality industry. She also serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association and the Valley Hotel and Resort Association. Johnson also represents the tourism… Read More →

The Meetings Industry Is On The Offensive To Counter Negative Perceptions

Panel of MPI Students

When individuals and organizations meet, solutions are created, ideas are shared, business initiatives are crafted and skills are learned. Such meetings are crucial to North American business success, even more so in a dynamic, faltering, global economy. In an increasingly faceless world, effective human connections are a powerful business weapon. The EventView 2009 study reveals… Read More →