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Arizona Office of Tourism Supports Local Visitor Information Centers with Grant Funding

August 08, 2006

August 8, 2006
Contact: Michelle Thompson
(602) 364-3724

Arizona Office of Tourism Supports Local Visitor Information Centers
with Grant Funding

The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) has awarded more than $13,000 in grant funding from the Information Center Enhancement (ICE) grant to 12 organizations throughout Arizona.

The ICE grant program was created to help designated statewide Local Visitor Information Centers (LVIC) enhance the visual and service quality of their visitor centers. The grant provides direct funding of up to $2,000 per project in any one of the nine categories related to operating a Local Visitor Information Center, including: brochure racks, display cases, Local Visitor Center beautification (interior and exterior), outdoor kiosks, special tourism promotions, signage, uniforms and Local Visitor Information Center Design plan and implementation.

Because visitors to Arizona often utilize information centers as their first stop when coming to the Grand Canyon State, it is vital that these centers give a positive first impression. Additionally, visitor centers promote area attractions, recreational opportunities and tourism and hospitality amenities. Often, LVICs and their staff serve as “ambassadors” to Arizona, providing information on their own destination and the entire state.

ICE Grant applicants may apply for a grant in only onecategory per year. Visitor Centers applying for grant funds must be a facility officially designated by AOT through its Local Visitor Information Center Program, and projects must be completed within one year of the grant being awarded. Officially designated LVICs are those that comply with standard operating requirements and have earned the “Arizona Travel Information” signage from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“The Arizona Office of Tourism works hard to promote Arizona as a world-class destination, but there is no better advertising than word of mouth,” said AOT Director Margie Emmermann. “By working with communities to provide for improvements to their local visitor center, we are ensuring a good first impression, which will bring visitors back to the state year after year.”

Past projects for this grant program, which was started in 2005, include infrastructure assistance with accessibility related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); new carpet; stucco repair and paint; a freestanding upright brochure rack and large map; and door and restroom fixtures. A complete list of grant recipients is attached.

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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