Sacco: Scottsdale has reason to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

For one week each year, travel and tourism professionals across the country sing the praises of our industry in unison. During National Travel & Tourism Week from May 1-7, we share the value the industry holds for our economy.

Rachel Sacco

Rachel Sacco

In Scottsdale, travel not only influences our community’s economic growth and development, but it also impacts our lives personally. Because of this, we ask you to join us this week in celebrating our local tourism industry.

Each year, more than 9 million visitors contribute to this $4 billion industry in Scottsdale. Visitors give Scottsdale’s economy a $38 million boost in bed- and sales-tax revenue, which funds city services like public parks, hiking trails and road upgrades. Because of that incoming revenue, Scottsdale residents receive $304 in annual tax relief per household.

Those visitors generate more than 50 percent of annual bed-tax revenue during the first four months of the year. They come from around the world to partake in Scottsdale’s special events like Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Cactus League Spring Training and more.

During that time, visitors fill resorts and hotels, book tee times, scoop up reservations, and pour into shops. You know when the time of year is upon us – all you have to do is look to storefronts welcoming football, golf and baseball fans, depending on the month.

National Travel & Tourism week falls right after the conclusion of those four incredible months. While the weeklong event inspires destinations gearing up for busy summers, for Scottsdale, the event means toasting to the conclusion of another successful peak season.

But before a visitor or meetings group decides on a hotel, golf course or restaurant, they must first choose our destination. The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes Scottsdale through advertising, public relations, and meeting planner and travel agent education to guarantee those visitors and groups — and their dollars — land in our community.

This year, Scottsdale images were splashed across New York, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Denver on subway cars, transit station banners, airport baggage claims, and wallscapes. Articles about Scottsdale were featured in high-end magazines like Travel + Leisure, Sunset and Afar.

In the first half of the fiscal year, the bureau’s staff met one-on-one with more than 2,600 travel agents and tour operators to spread the word about Scottsdale across the globe, and meetings booked into Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts generated nearly $47 million in economic impact.

The bureau’s work doesn’t stop when the temperatures begin to rise in the summer. In fact, we face an even bigger challenge these next few months – to drive visitation during the summer and fall seasons, traditionally slower periods for our regional tourism industry.

No matter the time of year, we as Scottsdale residents can take advantage of all the amenities right outside our doors, from our restaurants to our museums to our art galleries and more. And all the while, Scottsdale’s tourism industry stays hard at work.

That work ensures the industry continues to thrive and support our local economy. It ensures that one in every eight jobs directly relates to tourism. It ensures that travelers book their vacations and meetings in Scottsdale, in turn growing our economy, creating jobs, and filling our tax coffers.

We encourage you to use National Travel & Tourism Week as an occasion to urge our local leaders and elected officials to support the bipartisan travel industry. And come November, with the culmination of this year’s election cycle, we ask that you keep our industry — on both a national and local level — in mind.

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Editor’s note: Ms. Sacco is the president and CEO of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

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