PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona tourism officials say the pandemic has led to spending from visitors to plunge by $10 billion when compared to the same time last year.
The Arizona Office of Tourism said in a news release Thursday that revenue generated by visitors between January and September is 52% less.
Spending nose-dived in March and April when coronavirus-induced shutdowns began and climbed somewhat in May and June. However, spending has since plateaued. Tourism officials worry that spending will not rise in the fall season leading to more losses.
In September, visitors spent $752 million. Officials say normally tourism brings in around $1.9 billion in that month. They say those dollars supported 87,000 hospitality jobs. That is 55% fewer jobs than in September 2019, according to the tourism office’s monthly report.
Debbie Johnson, the office’s director, says it’s crucial the tourism industry build consumer confidence with visible face masks and sanitization procedures. She hopes people looking to take a vacation will see that Arizona has good and safe options.