Arizona using federal funds to promote tourism

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T0719WESTINKIERLAND_RS_HR [credit: Robert Silk]
Arizona is earmarking a portion of federal funds for golf course revitalization. Pictured, the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Photo Credit: Robert Silk

Arizona plans to funnel $101.1 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding toward tourism promotion, with Gov. Doug Ducey announcing the launch of the Visit Arizona Initiative.

The Visit Arizona Initiative will provide marketing funding to destination marketing organizations (DMOs) across the state as well as to organizations such as Arizona State Parks & Trails, the Arizona State Fair, the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and Local First Arizona, a nonprofit that plans to use the money toward rural destination development.

A portion of the funds will also be earmarked for golf course revitalization.

"Tourism is essential for Arizona's booming economy and job growth," said Ducey in a statement. "Thousands of Arizonans who work in the tourism industry were displaced due to the pandemic. Now that our economy is strong, jobs are readily available and visitors are coming to our beautiful state, we are making sure employment opportunities continue to grow."

Arizona's 2020 overnight visitation dropped 31% from the year before and 2020 visitor spending plummeted 41%, according to data from the governor's office.

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