Pandemic Has Cost Arizona Tourism Industry Billions, Official Says

By Jill Ryan
Published: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 8:05am
Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 8:08am

A sign welcoming visitors to Arizona
A sign welcoming visitors to Arizona on eastbound Interstate 10.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the tourism industry in Arizona.

Kim Sabow, president of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, says in the first half year alone, it lost $9 billion in direct visitor spending.

“More than 50% of revenue generated through tourism comes in the form of group travel. And that would be groups booking well in advance, months, if not years, in advance for conventions, events, [and] the large group gathering," Sabow said.

Sabow hopes restoring consumer confidence will help revive revenue numbers. Right now they are benefiting from tourists from California and other surrounding states, since residents there don’t have to travel too far from home.

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