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Arizona tourism industry reports $1 billion decrease in August

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State Parks)

PHOENIX – Arizona tourists spent nearly $1 billion less in the August compared to the same time last year, with the effects likely attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Monday.

The Arizona Office of Tourism reported visitors spent $641 million in August, which is down approximately 60% from last year.

“This data paints a bleak, but accurate picture of the importance of tourism to our economy and the steep challenges our industry faces in working toward recovery,” Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson said in a press release.

Across the board, the tourism industry reported decreases in employment, tax revenue and hotel occupancy in August compared to last year.

Arizona’s tourism industry has seen a decrease in visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic. Before COVID-19 hit, visitor spending in Arizona was outpacing 2019, which was the state’s best year ever for tourism.

According to the report, the $8.5 billion spend by visitors in the first eight months of 2020 is down approximately 51% compared to the same period in 2019.

Last year was also the fourth year in a row of record-setting visitation, spending, tax revenue and jobs supported.

Johnson noted in the release that because of the steep declines, businesses have turned to promoting Arizona road trips and staycations to boost the industry.

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