Arizona to use $100M in federal relief funds to boost tourism
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday announced that $101.1 million in federal relief funds will be invested into a new initiative to boost tourism in the state.
The Visit Arizona Initiative includes assistance for tourism marketing, local community programs and events support, and outdoor recreation improvements.
Arizona’s tourism industry took a hit in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with overnight visitation falling by 31% and spending down by 41% from 2019, according to a press release.
“When visitors from across the globe travel to our great state, they stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, buy our products and enjoy our recreational activities,” Ducey said in the release.
“Their investments benefit Arizonans, and the Visit Arizona Initiative will help our tourism sector prosper — and continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
The program, which is funded from the American Rescue plan, includes $25 million for assisting productions that directly support jobs in the travel and hospitality sectors, including expositions, conferences, festival and other stage performances.
The marketing segment will get $20 million to target tourism and attract visitors to destinations across state. The Arizona State Fair is one attraction the release listed will receive marketing assistance.
There’s also $16 million for infrastructure improvements and sustainability of outdoor attractions and golf courses.
Grant guidelines and application instructions are set to be available by the end of July, but businesses can submit their interest in a program prior on the website.