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Arizona Office of Tourism Releases 2013 Travel & Tourism Industry Statistics

July 18, 2014

Arizona welcomed 39.1 million overnight visitors in 2013; direct travel spending topped $19.8 billion

Today, the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) announced the 2013 visitation statistics and economic impact of the Arizona travel and tourism industry at the annual Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

According to the latest research data released by AOT, more than 39 million domestic and international overnight visitors experienced Arizona as travel destination in 2013. Direct travel spending generated $19.8 billion, which is approximately $53 million contributed to Arizona’s economy each and every single day. The industry statistics were released by AOT at the annual conference being held at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, July 16-18.

Additional statistics gathered by AOT’s research vendor, Dean Runyan Associates, include:

  • 163,500 industry-related jobs generated by direct travel spending - combined with secondary employment that is generated through this direct travel spending, total job generation for Arizona is nearly 300,000.
  • $5.4 billion is earnings generated by direct travel spending
  • $2.7 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues generated by direct travel spending
  • Tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry represents a $1,100 tax break per Arizona household.

“Tourism is one of Arizona’s top-export industries, and contributes directly to the social and economic vitality of our state,” said Sherry Henry, AOT director. “Tourism generates thousands of jobs, billions in earnings and billions in tax revenues that directly strengthens the quality of life for Arizona residents.”

According to Henry, local and state travel taxes generated by travel and tourism equates to $1.6 billion, which is nearly enough to cover the wages of all police officers, secondary school teachers and firefighters within the entire state of Arizona.

The annual conference, co-sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism and the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, is the industry’s premier professional development event. More than 450 statewide travel and tourism professionals attend the event to gain valuable insight from informative breakout sessions and industry-related keynote speakers aimed at improving marketing efforts. 

In addition to announcing the annual statistics, Henry also announced the Office of Tourism’s marketing plans for the forthcoming fiscal year. Among the agency’s major marketing announcements, AOT will be using a new research partnership with Buxton, a long-standing economic development consumer analytics company. AOT is the first state tourism Destination Marketing Organization in the nation to use this progressive data to specifically identify and target Arizona’s ideal visitor.

“This is an exciting partnership for us that we know will yield valuable visitor data to help us build our strategic marketing plans for FY15,” stated Henry. “As our competition grows, we have to ensure we have the right tools in place to effectively reach our target demographics, increase visitor spending and provide a stronger return on investment for our state.”

AOT will also be expanding its national tourism advertising campaign to include targeted efforts in Chicago, Seattle and Minneapolis; continuing trade and media activities in the growing visitor markets of China and Brazil; and continuing with a co-operative marketing plan designed to promote rural Arizona destinations. 

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
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. 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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