Record 43 million Arizona visitors equals $58 million per day

Above: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort. Economy | 20 Jul, 2017 |

A record 43 million overnight visitors came to Arizona last year, and they collectively spent $58 million per day during their stays, according to new research focused on Arizona tourism from the Arizona Office of Tourism.

“Over 43 million visitors—which is larger than the population of California—understand all that Arizona has to offer,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “The money those visitors spend is crucial to Arizona’s economic wellbeing because it sustains jobs, generates tax revenue and improves our quality of life.”

Visitors to Arizona spent $21.2 billion in 2016—that works out to $58 million per day and more than $40,000 per minute.

Visitor spending directly supported 184,000 jobs in the state, and those Arizona tourism related jobs, in turn, generated $6.5 billion in employment revenue.

Each of these performance indicators—visitor volume, direct spending, jobs and employment earnings—represented a historical high for the Arizona tourism industry.

“It was another strong year for tourism in Arizona,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “We also saw the positive effects from advertising efforts in our target markets. Research told us we could increase market share in cities like Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, and that’s just what we did.”

The Arizona Office of Tourism released its annual research Wednesday afternoon at the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the JW Marriott desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

Other highlights from the presentation:

  • Total tax revenue—federal, state and local—generated by tourism in Arizona was $3.1 billion in 2016.
  • The Arizona Office of Tourism’s advertising campaigns increased incremental travel in all markets where it was delivered, generating $829 million in ad-influenced revenue.
  • In Northern Arizona spending by visitors who stayed in hotels increased by $81 million compared to 2015.

The Arizona Office of Tourism’s annual research is performed by Dean Runyan Associates, Tourism Economics, Longwoods International, and Strategic Marketing and Research Insights. Summaries will be posted online at following the 2017 Governor’s Conference of Tourism, which continues through July 21.

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