PHOENIX – Friday, Governor Jan Brewer announced a plan to boost Arizona tourism promotion by $7 million. The funding, which will be part of the Governor’s state budget proposal for fiscal 2013, will enable the Arizona Office of Tourism to expand promotion of the state as a national and international destination and further build Arizona’s brand for Southwestern hospitality.
“An investment in tourism promotion is an investment in the Arizona economy,” said Governor Brewer. “Unfortunately, the state budget crisis in recent years forced us to significantly reduce the dollars available to promote our state’s attractions. With state finances now on much stronger footing, I’m proud that we can once again tell the world what those of us who live here already know: From its outdoor beauty to its rich culture and hospitality, Arizona is a premier travel destination.”Within the state, the funding will also allow the Office of Tourism to form new public/private partnerships in working to highlight travel destinations outside the Phoenix metro area. Working cooperatively, the state and its local partners can use these dollars to draw leisure and business travelers – generating jobs and lasting economic development across Arizona.
In 2010, nearly 37 million domestic and international overnight travelers visited Arizona, generating an estimated $17.7 billion in direct spending. On a daily basis, direct traveler spending contributes $48 million to the state economy, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism.
“Governor Brewer is a champion for Arizona’s tourism industry,” said Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “This new funding will allow Arizona to better compete for visitor dollars benefitting all of Arizona and adding to the quality of life we enjoy.”
Job creation and economic growth are a key focus for Governor Brewer and the Arizona Office of Tourism. In 2010, Arizona had 152,000 tourism-related jobs directly tied to traveler spending. That number roughly doubles when taking into account indirect employment, such as retailers and restaurants that benefit from tourist spending.
The $7 million tourism investment is made possible by the state’s vastly-improved finances. Unlike 2009, when Governor Brewer took office amid a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall, state government anticipates a $600 million surplus in fiscal 2013.
While the Governor is focused upon paying down state debt and setting aside dollars in reserve, she also intends to make strategic investments that modernize and repair the most critical state services and improve Arizona’s economic competitiveness. For each dollar the Arizona Office of Tourism spends on tourism promotion, the agency projects a roughly $8 return in terms of state and local tax revenues.
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. For business-to-business information, visit http://www.azot.gov/. For consumer travel information, visit http://www.arizonaguide.com/.