The financial impact of tourism in Prescott and in Arizona overall is significant, according to Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.
Johnson and Becky Blaine, deputy director, shared both anecdotal and statistical information in mid-October about how Prescott and central Arizona have attracted more and more visitors from not only the United States but also several foreign nations.
More than 30 community members who represented various hospitality and tourism attractions throughout the Quad City area were at the Tourism Team Up event sponsored by the City of Prescott Tourism Office.
Using a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate their remarks, both women talked about visitor spending in Yavapai County and its impact on 2018’s economy.
Blaine pointed out that in Yavapai County, accommodations generated the most spending – $249.8 million. Other visitor expenditures included:
- Arts, entertainment and recreation – $209.8 million.
- Food service – $189.5 million.
- Local transportation – $78.7 million.
- Visitor air transportation – $800,000.
They also reported that in 2018, visitor spending in Yavapai County was up nearly 11% over 2017 — $949 million. More than 9,910 jobs were supported by visitor spending, an increase of 4.2% over the prior year.
“This area has some of the strongest leisure travel numbers in the state,” Johnson said. She attributed some of the increase to Prescott Regional Airport and the nonstop commercial flights from Los Angeles and Denver, operated by SkyWest Airlines through United Express.
Johnson said because of the success of commercial flights in Prescott, she is going to request additional marketing dollars from the state this coming year to promote “Denver to Arizona.” Such a promotion would be a “first” in the state and for the community, she said.
John Heiney, City of Prescott community outreach manager, and Ann Steward, tourism office coordinator, shared information about tourism promotion being planned by the City. Such efforts will include increased publicity and marketing for the annual “Arizona’s Christmas City” programs, which began in late November and will last through the first of the year.
City tourism officials will increase their participation in state Office of Tourism sales and trade missions, with more focus on Japan, China and Europe. More promotion also will be directed at the Prescott Heritage Trail and History Hunt Adventure.
More details about City of Prescott tourism activities are available by calling 928-777-1220 or at www.Visit-prescott.com