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Arizona Office of Tourism Releases State’s 2011 Travel & Tourism Industry Statistics

July 12, 2012

Economic Impact Trend Line Moving Upwards, Industry Remains Cautiously Optimistic

PHOENIX (July 12, 2012) – The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) announced the 2011 economic impact and visitation statistics for Arizona’s tourism industry.  More than 37 million domestic and international overnight visitors experienced Arizona as travel destination in 2011. Visitor spending directly generated $18.3 billion, which is approximately $50 million contributed to Arizona’s economy each and every day. The industry statics were released by AOT at the 2012 Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix, July 12-13.

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

  • 157,700 industry-related jobs
        o Combined with secondary employment that is generated through this direct travel spending, total job generation for Arizona is nearly 300,000.
  • $5.1 billion is earnings
  • $2.7 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues
       o Tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry lessens the annual tax burden by 1,030 for every Arizona household.

“This is great news for our industry; however, we need to keep this momentum going and continue to promote Arizona as a premier leisure destination,” said Sherry Henry, AOT director.  “This type of marketing activity is key to bringing new money into the state that contributes to Arizona economic vitality.”

The annual conference, sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism and the Arizona Lodging & Tourism 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 advertising initiatives, trade and media relations efforts, public relations projects, social media activity and community outreach efforts.

Among the agency’s major marketing announcements, AOT will be returning to a nationwide campaign (budget limitations reduced pervious national promotions); building marketing efforts in emerging visitor markets including China and Brazil; and developing a co-operative marketing plan to promote rural Arizona destinations. 

“Attracting visitors to a destination has become ever more challenging since the fall of the national economy,” Henry continued. “In addition to that challenge, more and more destinations understand the economic benefits of the travel and tourism industry, which adds to the global competition for those extremely crucial visitor dollars.”   

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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