Arizona tourism shows strong recovery

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Arizona tourism shows strong recovery

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The Arizona Office of Tourism recently released a new study confirming that Arizona has solidified its status as a premier travel destination.

Research shows the state is ahead of the national average in post-pandemic tourism recovery.

In calendar year 2021, Arizona outpaced the national rate for both visitor spending and overnight stays. Arizona recovered 87% of its overnight stay rate in 2019 and 92% of its visitor spending rate in 2019.

Additionally, overnight visitors spent $23.6 billion in the state of Arizona, just shy of the all-time high set in 2019 of $25.6 billion. Figures for 2021 show visitors spent $64.7 million per day.

“It’s no surprise to see crowds of people coming to visit our state. Tourism in Arizona directly translates into economic benefits for communities throughout the state,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “This is a tremendous testament to the efforts of Director Debbie Johnson, the AOT team and all the hard-working people in Arizona’s tourism industry.”

At the county level, tourism figures are also starting to pick up. In 2021, 8 of 15 counties fully recovered or surpassed 2019 levels in visitor spending.

The annual increase in tourism from 2020 to 2021 brought in $3.4 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Revenue generated by tourism reduced the tax burden of an Arizona household by an average of $738.

“Arizona’s tourism industry continues to do an outstanding job of marketing our state’s incredible experiences and wide-open spaces to recreational travelers,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “There is stiff competition and a lot of work ahead, but we are very happy that visitors are seeing and choosing Arizona as one of their favorite vacation destinations.”

Although the tourism industry is still working to recover to the levels it was in in 2019, which was considered a banner year for tourism in Arizona, the research points to positive growth and recovery in the state for the industry. In the last quarter of 2021, domestic overnight stays exceeded those in the same period of 2019 by 1.2%.

The Arizona Office of Tourism continues to encourage visits to the state. These efforts include ongoing marketing campaigns for visitors, supporting industry partners and communities with strategic planning and promoting sustainable and responsible tourism.

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