Growing up in Arizona, I always looked forward to our family vacations in other states. Whether it was beach trips to California, skiing in Colorado or the occasional treat of a trip further east — it excited me to get to explore new places away from home. As I grew older, however, I began to realize that there are many destinations right within our state that I’d yet to explore. Chiricahua National Monument, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Havasupai, the list goes on and on. And it wasn’t until very recently that I learned what a disservice this was doing not only to myself, but to our amazing state and all of its residents.
I began working on the Arizona Office of Tourism account here at OMA back in December. I was excited to encourage people to visit our fabulous state as my job, but I didn’t realize the economic impact tourism had on Arizona. As I began to plan and prep for National Travel & Tourism Week, I figured there was no time like the present to dive into research on the significant benefits that Arizona tourism brings:
- Reduces annual tax burden
- Pays salaries for police officers and teachers
- Supports youth sports and spring training stadiums
- Funds parks and infrastructures
- Acts as one of Arizona’s biggest job creators
When I really dug into the numbers, I was blown away. In 2016 alone, 43 million people traveled to and through Arizona — collectively spending $21.2 billion and generating $3.09 billion in tax revenue, which equated to $1,186 annual tax savings for every Arizona household. Additionally, it supported 184,200 tourism industry jobs.
Crazy, right? Just by traveling around Arizona — booking hotels, eating at restaurants, visiting state parks and other attractions — you not only have fun and fall more in love with Arizona, but a portion of that money actually ends up right back in your own pocket and helps fund our state.
The goal of National Travel & Tourism Week (May 6-12) is to celebrate tourism, promote in-state travel and inform residents of the substantial economic impact that tourism brings. What can you do to help? While planning your next trip, consider exploring one of Arizona’s breathtaking monuments or charming cities. You won’t regret it.