AOT releases statistics on AZ travel and tourism

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The Arizona Office of Tourism announced the 2012 visitation statistics and economic impact of the Arizona travel and tourism industry at the annual Arizona Governor's Conference on Tourism Thursday.

According to the latest research data released by AOT, more than 38 million domestic and international overnight visitors experienced Arizona as travel destination in 2012.

Direct travel spending generated $19.3 billion, which is approximately $53 million contributed to Arizona's economy each and every single day.

The industry statistics will be released by AOT at the annual conference being held tonight and tomorrow at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa.

"Tourism is one of Arizona's top-export industries and generates thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in earnings and billions of dollars in tax revenues all of which directly impacts every Arizona resident," said Sherry Henry, AOT director. "This type of economic activity validates the important role the travel and tourism industry plays in the economic development of communities throughout Arizona."

According to Henry, unlike other industries, taxes generated by travel industry spending are paid by visitors rather than residents. These visitors bring new money into Arizona's economy and generate revenue in all 15 counties.

In addition to announcing statistics, Henry also announced the Office of Tourism's marketing plans for the forthcoming fiscal year.

Additional statistics gathered by AOT:

1) 161,300 industry-related jobs generated by direct travel spending: Combined with secondary employment that is generated through this direct travel spending, total job generation for Arizona is nearly 300,000.

2) $5.4 billion is earnings generated by direct travel spending

3) $2.6 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues generated by direct travel spending: Tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry lessens the annual tax burden by 1,080 for every Arizona household.

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