As the COVID-19 pandemic played out in 2020, tourism officials were scrambling in one of the toughest years for the industry on record, and we finally have some numbers to show exactly what happened.
A report issued by the Arizona Office of Tourism, a state agency tasked with marketing and supporting Arizona’s tourism industry, shows that visitors spent $15 billion in the Grand Canyon State in 2020.
While $15 billion is still a lot, it was a 41.4% decrease from the $25.6 billion visitors spent in 2019. Visitor spending in Arizona generated $2.7 billion in combined local, state and federal tax revenue in 2020.
The decrease in spending comes with a drop in the number of visitors as well. The state counted a total of 32.1 million overnight visitors in 2020, which was down drastically from the 46.8 million in 2019.
The vast majority of overnight visitors – 94% – were either from Arizona or another U.S. state. Arizona saw very few international visitors in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions both in the U.S. and in other countries.