On Thursday, Sept. 28, Visit Phoenix, the convention and visitors bureau for the greater Phoenix area, launched its year-long celebration of its 50 years in business.

Visit Phoenix was established in 1967 to promote and market Greater Phoenix as a year-round convention and leisure-traveler destination. Visit Phoenix targets potential visitors and conveys the message that Greater Phoenix is the nation’s premier location for meeting facilities, resorts, hotels, spas, golf courses, culture, cuisine and outdoor adventure.

Visit Phoenix spearheads convention and tourism efforts both domestically and internationally, and during the 16-17 fiscal year, booked more than 800 future meetings and conventions for the convention center and area hotels and resorts. The estimated future direct spending from those booked events is more than $680 million. Click here to review the Annual Report for more information about Visit Phoenix’s accomplishments during the previous fiscal year.

During the anniversary celebration, HelmsBriscoe Founder and CEO Roger Helms accepted the Visitor Industry Champion Award on behalf of the HelmsBriscoe team. In business for 25 years, HelmsBriscoe is the global leader in procurement and destination selection for meetings. Founded in Greater Phoenix, the region – and the entire state of Arizona – benefits from the efforts of HelmsBriscoe, not only from their economic impact, but also from their support of myriad charity and social responsibility programs.

Additional recipients of the Visitor Industry Champion Award included City of Phoenix’s Mayor Greg Stanton and City Council; City of Phoenix Leadership represented by City Manager Ed Zuercher; and Phoenix Local Organizing Committee’s Past CEO, Dawn Rogers, for their efforts to bring the NCAA Final Four to the greater Phoenix area.

The Visitor Industry Champion Awards are presented annually by Visit Phoenix to individuals or organizations in Greater Phoenix that exemplify what it means to promote and lead in the visitor economy. 

Visitor Industry Champions work toward the goal of establishing and maintaining Greater Phoenix as a world-class travel and meetings destination. Recipients of this award have a significant track record of positive impact in bringing visitor business dollars into our community and fully understanding the importance that the visitor industry has on our community as a leading economic engine.