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April 21, 2009

Media Contacts:
Kristen Jarnagin
VP of Communications AZHLA
Phone: 602-723-5370

Kiva Couchon
Communications Manager AOT
Phone: 602-364-3724


Phoenix (April 21, 2009)— The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT), the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association (AzHLA) and their statewide partners are teaming up to launch an exciting new summer marketing campaign that promotes both the great summer travel deals for consumers found throughout the state and the importance of the tourism industry to Arizona’s economic vitality.

The summer campaign will begin May 12 and complements the promotion of “National Tourism Week” initiated by the U.S. Travel Association, a nationwide travel and tourism advocacy group. “National Tourism Week” occurs May 9 – 17 and focuses on the positive impact the tourism industry has on the national economy, in concert with the message in the Arizona tourism industry’s summer campaign.
In the wake of the economic downturn and the overall negative global travel perceptions affecting Arizona’s tourism industry, AOT and AzHLA held multiple meetings with tourism stakeholders including hoteliers, convention and visitors’ bureau staff and industry leaders to address the challenges they are facing in bringing visitors to Arizona. From these meetings a campaign was developed designed to drive business and revenues while creating a simple way for consumers to learn about amazing Arizona travel deals.

“The new campaign is two-fold in that it is designed to boost tourism business within Arizona as well as generate much needed tax revenues to our state,” said Arizona Office of Tourism Director, Sherry Henry. “AOT is the marketing organization for Arizona’s tourism industry and in times like this, we need to collaborate with our industry partners and unite with a common purpose to regain market share and showcase the incredible summer travel offers and opportunities available across the Grand Canyon State.”

This type of industry-wide recovery strategy has been successful in the past with similar in-state tourism campaigns post 9-11. However, the industry has never been faced with the current economic fears, which provides a new set of challenges to overcome.

“Our members have received a one-two punch from the economy and the recent negative perception of meetings,” said AzHLA President & CEO Debbie Johnson. “We cannot, and will not, sit on the sidelines and continue to watch the decline, so we decided to take the initiative and lead the charge for recovery.”

In conjunction with the consumer marketing campaign, AzHLA and AOT will launch the “I Am Tourism” awareness building campaign to educate Arizona residents of the importance and wide-reaching positive economic impact of the tourism industry.

The Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association (AzHLA) is the leading public policy advocate for the Arizona Lodging Industry. Representing more than 34,000 rooms statewide and 400+ members, including hotels, resorts, B&B’s and related Industry partners, AzHLA’s mission is to unify, protect, enhance and promote the interests of the Arizona Lodging Industry. For more information, visit

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. For more information, visit


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