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Arizona business leader predicting strong summer for tourism industry

(AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)

PHOENIX — One of Arizona’s top business leaders is predicting a strong summer for the state’s tourism industry, especially as vaccination numbers continue to increase.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday that he expects tourists won’t be as hesitant as usual to come to the Grand Canyon State during the summer because of months of being cooped up due to the pandemic.

“What I expect is that the by the time the summer comes around and the vaccinations are really out here, people really are going to say it’s a dry heat and they’re going to flock to our resorts like we’ve never seen in a summer in Arizona,” Hamer said.

An unusually strong summer for Arizona tourism would be a welcome sight for an industry that’s been hit as hard as any since the start of COVID-19.

Most of the jobs in the state that haven’t been recovered since last March are in tourism, according to Hamer.

The industry is an outlier for a state economy Hamer says is in “great shape” right now.

“The good news is that as the vaccinations accelerate, we will see a resumption of much more human-to-human contact,” Hamer said.

Hamer won’t be around to see if his prediction comes true.

He is leaving Feb. 18 to take a similar position with the Texas Association of Business after a 14-year tenure in Arizona.

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