Market Overview

Arizona Marks National Travel and Tourism Week by Celebrating Visitors' Role in Creating Jobs, Lowering Taxes


During the first three months of the year, more than 14,000 jobs were
added in Arizona's leisure and hospitality industry, and in March
metropolitan Phoenix had the No. 1 occupancy rate among the top 25
markets in the United States.

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So it's no wonder Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Office of
Tourism are enthusiastic about celebrating National Travel and Tourism
Week, which begins May 7.

"Tourism is Arizona's No. 1 export and one of the state's strongest
economic pillars," said Gov. Ducey, who officially proclaimed May 7-13
as Arizona Travel and Tourism Week. "Tourism creates tens of thousands
of jobs in our state and brings in billions of dollars in tax revenue."

According to a 2016 study by the economic-research firm Dean Runyan
Associates, visitors to Arizona collectively spend
$58 million each day
—that's about $40,000 per minute. Visitor
spending sustains
180,000 jobs
in the state and reduces
the average Arizona household's annual tax burden
by about $1,200.

The latest employment report from Arizona's Office of Economic
Opportunity showed that the leisure and hospitality sector added 14,200
jobs through the first three months of 2017—the strongest growth of any
business sector in the state.

The tourism industry in Arizona supports more jobs than the banking
industry, the insurance industry, the real estate industry, the
manufacturing industry, the construction industry or the mining industry.

"Tourism helps create jobs in another way, too: It's the front door to
economic development and business relocation," said Debbie Johnson,
director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "Our marketing efforts
showcase many of the assets—iconic landscapes, beautiful weather,
outdoor living—that make Arizona the best place in the country to live,
work and play."

The state's marketing efforts seem to be working.

Bolstered by record attendance at Cactus League Spring Training, metro
Phoenix—the largest hotel market in the state—posted an 88 percent
occupancy rate for the month of March. That was the highest occupancy
rate among the nation's top 25 markets, according to Smith Travel
Research. Arizona had the second-highest occupancy rate among the 50
states in March.

Phoenix's hosting of the NCAA Men's Final Four increased visitation in
April. Recent analysis of Smith Travel Research data by Hotel News Now
showed that Phoenix hotels experienced a 29 percent occupancy increase
during Final Four weekend (compared to the average of every weekend for
the prior year). During Final Four game days Phoenix hotels got higher
rates ($209 average) than every other market in the U.S. except Oahu,
Hawaii, which helped drive revenue per available room up 127 percent.

The Arizona tourism industry's strong start to the first quarter of 2017
follows a year in which both Arizona's state parks and its most-visited
national park recorded record visitation. More than 2.6 million people
visited Arizona State Parks in 2016, contributing $16.4 million in
revenue to the parks system.

Meanwhile, Grand Canyon National Park welcomed 5.96 million visitors in
2016, an 8.1 percent jump over the previous year. According to a new Department
of the Interior report
, the 18 national parks and monuments in
Arizona generate nearly $1 billion in visitor spending and support more
than 15,000 jobs.

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comprehensive directories of Arizona hotels, dining and shopping, as
well as things to do and places to visit throughout the Grand Canyon

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