An Independent examination of the Arizona tourism economy

By Terrance Thorton | Scottsdale Independent

The local migration pattern of the Arizona snowbird is changing in the time of the novel coronavirus — and local tourism and economic development officials are taking notice.

Billions of dollars of retail and lodging revenue, coupled with the ancillary benefits of a seasonal influx of retirees armed with cargo shorts, colorful shirts and infectious smiles, the winter visitor is a site for the sore eyes of various sectors of the local economy.

The Arizona Office of Tourism reports in 2019 there were an estimated 46.8 million overnight stays — a total of $25.6 billion in annual spending that generated $3.78 billion in tax revenue — contributing to estimated annual tourism earnings just more than $7.5 billion in statewide.

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