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Arizona Office of Tourism Releases 2010 Tourism Industry Statistics

July 18, 2011

Industry Cautiously Optimistic as Tourism Recovers from Turbulent Economic Recession

The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) announced that 36.9 million overnight domestic and international visitors experienced Arizona as a travel destination in 2010, a 4.5 percent increase over 2009. Visitor spending directly generated $17.7 billion dollars, which is approximately $48 million dollars being contributed to Arizona’s economy every single day.  The industry statistics were released by AOT at the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, July 14-15. 

Additionally, according to travel industry research conducted by AOT’s vendor, Dean Runyan Associates, direct traveler spending generated:

  • More than 152,200 industry-related jobs
    • Combined with secondary employment that is generated through this direct traveler spending, total job generation for Arizona equals nearly 300,000.
  • $4.9 billion dollars in earnings
  • $2.5 billion dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues, which is equivalent to more than $1,040 dollars for every Arizona household

“No other Arizona industry produces the same economic impact to the Grand Canyon State than our travel and tourism industry,” said Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “As Arizona’s top export-oriented industry, tourism directly impacts all 15 counties within our state. By generating thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in earnings, and billions of dollars in tax revenues, tourism is critical to Arizona’s economic vitality.”

Further research announced included:

  • Overseas visitation to Arizona saw a 15 percent increase over 2009
  • More than 650,000 visitors traveled from Canada, which is up 16.5 percent from 2009

The annual conference, sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism, the Arizona Tourism Alliance, the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association and the Arizona Restaurant Association, is the industry’s premier professional development event. More than 400 statewide travel and tourism professionals attend the event gaining insight from informative breakout sessions and industry-related speakers.

In addition to announcing the economic impact statistics, Henry also announced the Office of Tourism’s marketing plan for the forthcoming fiscal year. AOT will continue to have a research-driven marketing program, in domestic and international markets, which will be supported by traditional and digital advertising initiatives, trade and media relations efforts, public relations projects, social media activity and community outreach efforts.

“To remain competitive for visitor dollars in the global tourism market and increase the economic impact from this dynamic industry, it is vital that we continue to market Arizona as a premier travel destination to bring even more travelers to the state,” Henry continued.

The entire Arizona Travel Impacts study can be found in the Research & Statistics sections of For more information about Arizona’s statewide travel destinations visit or

About the Arizona Office of Tourism
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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