Arizona visitor spending drops nearly $1 billion in August

Above: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort. Business News | 6 Oct, 2020 |

Arizona visitors spent nearly $1 billion (or 60%) less in Arizona in August 2020 than they did in August 2019. The $641 million spent by Arizona travelers in August supported approximately 79,000 hospitality industry jobs, which is 113,000 fewer jobs supported than last August, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism’s most recent Monthly Tourism report, which covers August 2020.

The $8.5 billion spent by Arizona visitors through the first eight months of 2020 is down $9 billion (or 51%) as compared to the same period in 2019.

“This data paints a bleak, but accurate picture of the importance of tourism to our economy and the steep challenges our industry faces in working toward recovery,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “This is why we’re so focused on growing consumer confidence and promoting Arizona road trips and staycations.”

Additional insights from the August 2020 Monthly Tourism report:

August 2020 vs. August 2019

Travel spending: $641 million, down $966 million (60%)

Jobs supported by travel spending: 79,149, down 113,163 (59%)

State Tax revenue generated by travel spending: $27.8 million, down $38.2 million (58%).

Statewide hotel occupancy: 47.9%, down 26% (16.6 percentage points)

Jan. – Aug. 2020 vs. Jan. – Aug. 2019

Travel spending: $8.5 billion, down $9 billion (51%)

State Tax revenue generated by travel spending: $357 million, down $361 million (50%).

Statewide hotel occupancy: 49.7%, down 29% (20.4 percentage points)

Hotel revenue: $1.57 billion, down $966 million (38%)

County-level Lodging Insights:

In August 2020, lodging establishments in Gila County (+22%), Pinal County (+13%) and La Paz County (+8%) reported increased occupancy compared to August 2019. Coconino County continues to be one of the hardest hit (-32%), although Flagstaff performed comparatively well with a 10% decrease. Graham County reported the greatest decrease in hotel occupancy for August 2020 (-37%).

Prior to the pandemic, 2020 visitor spending in Arizona was already outpacing 2019, which was Arizona’s best year ever for tourism and the fourth year in a row of record-setting visitation, visitor spending, tax revenue and jobs supported. The 2019 metrics highlight the importance of tourism as a key driver of the economy, employer of Arizonans and supporter of services that all Arizonans rely upon.

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