Arizona Tourism Revenue Hits New Record

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 5:05am

Tax revenue from tourism hit $1 billion — a new record for Arizona. 

Travelers to Arizona spent $24.4 billion during the 2018 fiscal year. That translates to $67 million per day and 8% more than the previous record for visitor spending in Arizona, set last year during the 2017 fiscal year.

"Everybody knows about the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. What don't they know? Did you know that we have the birding capital of the world in southern Arizona?" said Debbie Johnson, director of Arizona's Office of Tourism.

Johnson said the number of visitors increased across the state, even in places that have historically not been the major attractions.

City and county tax revenue generated by tourism increased 17% year over year. The 2018 fiscal year set a new tax revenue record at $1.1 billion.

“Tourism continues to thrive in Arizona, and that benefits every resident in every part of the state,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said. “Not only does this $24 billion industry provide more opportunities for small business and more for jobs for Arizonans, tourism revenues generate more dollars to invest in the things that matter most to Arizonans, like education and public safety.”

According to jobs data released by the Arizona Office of Tourism, visitor spending directly supported 192,300 jobs in the state in 2018. Those jobs accounted for $7.4 billion in earnings by Arizona workers.

In total, 45.4 million overnight visitors experienced Arizona as a travel destination in 2018. That’s also a new record, eclipsing the 43.9 million travelers who came to Arizona the previous year.

The Office of Tourism’s new research was announced at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Tucson, where leaders from the state’s travel and hospitality industry are gathering this week for their annual professional-development conference.

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