It is no secret that more people are visiting our national parks and public areas, across
the United States in numbers that have never been seen before. Droves of people are
visiting plenty of parks throughout the US and the numbers are starting to show the
totality of the increases.
Data released during the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, in 2018 Arizona
saw a nearly 8% rise in direct spending on travel, compared to the year before. This
increase was the biggest, from one year to the next, that officials at the state’s tourism
office saw in over a decade.
Plus, according to Arizona Tourism Deputy Director Becky Blaine, visitation was also up
more than 3%, which resulted in tourism jobs and wages also receiving a percentile
Blain explained: “We’re celebrating a third year of straight growth in our industry, record
numbers. For the first time we hit $1 billion in state tax revenue through tourism, which
is great cause that pays for essential services throughout the state.”
This increase in tax revenue is good news for residents of Arizona. Blain claims that the
increase lowered residents’ annual household tax burden by around $1,300. It is not
often that taxes are reduced and that is not a small amount of money either.
Granted, the amount of visitor spending in Arizona has been on the incline for many
years. However, it was allegedly Tucson’s UNESCO Heritage designation as a city of
gastronomy that pushed the spending percentages over the top.
“Because I think it’s one of those things that’s unexpected. People don’t expect that
Arizona has these great assets. They think, ‘Oh, Arizona’s the desert.’ And really, it’s so
multidimensional, there are so many things to do and see here,” Blaine said.
The Tourism Deputy Director went on to say that visitors spent $5 billion in Arizona
restaurants alone in 2018. This large chunk of change, alongside the state’s growing
wine industry is an excellent draw for tourists.
Of course, the state’s public lands are also a big draw. After all, Arizona isn’t nicknamed
“the Grand Canyon State” by accident. However, in addition to the Grand Canyon, there
is also Canyon de Chelly and Saguaro National Park.
Besides in-state tourists, Arizona’s largest share of domestic visitors come from
California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Florida. Although, there is also many
international visitors. Most of these tourists are from Mexico, Canada, Germany, the
United Kingdom, France, China, and finally, Australia.