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Arizona Office of Tourism Director Nationally Recognized as State Tourism Director of the Year

August 27, 2008

Arizona Office of Tourism Director Nationally Recognized as “State Tourism Director of the Year”
First Time an Arizona Director Honored

PHOENIX (August 27, 2008) — Margie A. Emmermann, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT), has been named “2008 State Tourism Director of the Year” by the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD), which is a part of the Travel Industry Association (TIA).

As one of three finalists, Emmermann was selected by her peers who represent 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. She is the first Arizona state tourism director to be honored. Emmermann was awarded on Tuesday, August 26, at the Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida.

“This is a well-deserved award and a wonderful way to honor Margie for her many achievements and contributions on behalf of the entire travel community,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of TIA. “Margie is an effective, well-respected leader who not only successfully positions Arizona as a premier travel destination, but also actively participates in finding solutions to the domestic and international challenges facing our industry.”

This honor is awarded annually to a tourism director whose leadership has obviously and measurably improved their state or territory's travel and tourism profile. Emmermann was appointed director of AOT in 2003 by Governor Janet Napolitano. Since then, she has unified Arizona’s visitor industry and produced outstanding results with her expertise as an exceptional leader and collaborator, among them:

  • A commitment to provide the most accurate and thorough research available in the state.
  • Developing research-based domestic and international campaigns that provide the best return on investment for the state.
  • Being on the leading edge of technology that expands the perception of Arizona and keeps AOT ahead of the competition.
  • Placing a priority on educating rural communities and promoting Native American Tourism.

Under her leadership, the Arizona Office of Tourism has seen increased results year-after-year, including:

  • A record-breaking 35.2 million visitors in 2007 who contributed $19.3 billion in direct travel expenditures to Arizona’s economic vitality, a 31.3 percent increase in direct spending from 2003.
  • Generating $2.7 billion in state, local and federal tax revenues that benefit every Arizona resident.

Before receiving the award, last year's recipient Bud Nocera, president and CEO of Visit Florida, called Emmermann “a world-class marketer who has expertly guided her office and is a devoted public servant.”

In addition to serving as director of AOT, Emmermann is also an active participant in the tourism industry and the community serving on numerous boards nationally, regionally, statewide and in Maricopa County. Among them are Travel Industry Association, the American Automobile Association Arizona, Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association, Arizona Tourism Alliance, Valley of the Sun United Way.

“Margie is a highly-respected colleague” said Diane Shober, director of the Wyoming Office of Travel and Tourism. “I have been fortunate to work with the best of the best in the tourism industry and Margie is definitely an ace among aces. She approaches her life and work with passion and integrity, which is truly something to be admired. Being named the 2008 State Tourism Director of the Year is an honor she rightly deserves.”

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism, is charged with enhancing the state economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion and development. AOT works to serve the Grand Canyon State’s travel industry and related businesses, the traveling public, and the taxpayers of Arizona.


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