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Globe-Miami Finds its Wild Side through ‘Go WILD’ Nature Tourism Program
April 24, 2013
Program Helps Communities Discover, Promote Wildlife Viewing Opportunities
Through the new Go WILD program developed by the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Tourism Association (AWWTA), Globe-Miami, Arizona has discovered its own wildlife watching opportunities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy.
As one of the most environmentally diverse states in the nation, Arizona offers unforgettable scenic landscapes where a variety of animals call home.
According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the United States, with more than 900 animal species and 50 million public acres of natural land to explore. Through AWWTA’s Go WILD program, communities learn how to define and then promote their natural resources building a unique long-term, nature-based tourism identity.
AWWTA includes representation from state and federal agencies such as Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona State Parks and Bureau of Land Management. Many community-based businesses, associations and organizations also have representation in AWWTA. Members that embody the nature tourism spectrum statewide have joined AWWTA to help better promote wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors.
“From hummingbird watching to pronghorn antelope sightings, the state is quickly becoming known worldwide as an exciting wildlife viewing destination,” said Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “The Go WILD program is an excellent resource to communities that want to identify what nature-based assets they have to offer and promote to wildlife watchers.”
Globe-Miami is the first community to benefit from the program. AWWTA and a committed team of state and local representatives worked closely with the community to assess resources, develop ideas for nature tourism, and help implement concrete plans for programming and marketing.
After a six-month period of collaboration, Globe-Miami is now ready to take over the full implementation of the plans and will begin to market its newly defined tourism product as a visitor destination. Some activities Go WILD has initiated for Globe-Miami include mapping wildlife viewing sites, unifying local support and identifying funding sources.
“The overall objective of the Go Wild program is to develop an outstanding wildlife watching and nature tourism area using proactive, sustainable tourism and conservation practices,” said Joe Yarchin, Watchable Wildlife Project Coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “This type of program development only increases the chances of visitors choosing Arizona as a wildlife viewing destination, which brings economic benefits to our local communities as well as our state.”
Each year, millions of visitors experience the Grand Canyon State as a travel destination. In 2011, nearly 38 million visitors spent $18.3 billion throughout the state, contributing nearly $51 million each day into Arizona’s economy.
The Arizona travel and tourism industry produces revenue in all 15 Arizona counties, and is responsible for generating $2.7 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues. This equates to more than $1,030 per Arizona household. Additionally, the Arizona tourism industry employs more than 157,700 Arizona residents. Combined with the secondary employment that is generated, more than 300,000 Arizona residents are impacted by this dynamic industry throughout the state.
For more information on the economic benefits of the Arizona Travel Industry, visit azot.gov. For more information on AWWTA and wildlife viewing recreations, visit azwatchablewildlife.org.
About Arizona Watchable Wildlife Tourism Association
The Arizona Watchable Wildlife Tourism Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organized in August 2002 to promote Arizona’s enormous wildlife watching opportunities for residents and visitors. Nature tourism is proven to reap statewide economic benefits, personal economic benefits for residents, as well as help conserve those special places that make Arizona unique. For more information, visit azwatchablewildlife.org
About Arizona Office of Tourism
Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state’s economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion. For information on AOT’s program of work, research and media plans, visit azot.gov. For information about Arizona travel experiences, visit arizonaguide.com.