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Arizona Office of Tourism shifts focus to international travelers

Although the majority of Arizona tourists come from inside the U.S., the Arizona Office of Tourism wants to shift its focus to international travelers.

That’s because, as Mary Rittmann, trade and media relations director with the office of tourism told the Phoenix Business Journal, international tourists stay in the state longer and spend more money.

On average, travelers from the United Kingdom stay in Arizona 4.2 nights, Chinese travelers stay 7.1 nights and Brazilian visitors stay 18.6 nights, according to AOT.

As expected, Mexico and Canada provide the majority of international travelers to Arizona.

Canadian visitors make up 52 percent of total international travel spending in Arizona, based off Visa credit card travel spending numbers. Mexico spends the second most, making up 20 percent of all money spent by international travelers.

The large amount of vacation days Europeans have is one of the attractions AOT has to marketing itself overseas. The main way they reach European travelers is by bringing 100-200 journalists to Arizona to write articles about the state.

In 2014, these trips generated more than 2,200 articles that had the potential of being seen by 9 million global readers and were worth $37 million. The AOT measures the worth of the articles by the amount of space the article is worth in advertising coverage.

That is why AOT held a seminar with local tourism businesses earlier this week on how to bring more world travelers to Arizona.