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Visitors Mean Business

Direct travel spending in Arizona generated $3.09 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues in 2016 (Travel Statistics, Travel Impacts, Dean Runyan Associates), or $1.7 billion when not factoring federal tax revenues, which would nearly cover the wages of all police officers, secondary school teachers and firefighters in the state of Arizona.

According to the same study, 43 million domestic and international overnight travelers visited Arizona in 2016 (117,000 each day), spending $21.2 billion. Over seventy percent of this spending comes from out of state and from international visitors, which represents new money imported into the Arizona economy.

Twenty-two (22.1) million visitors to Maricopa County in 2016 spent $10.3 billion and supported 101,270 jobs and contributed $1.7 billion in state and local tax revenue (Source: 2016 Arizona Travel Impacts, Dean Runyan Associates).

Consider these additional important impacts:

  • In 2016, the Arizona Travel Industry generated $1,186 in local, state and federal tax receipts (tax breaks) for each Arizona household.
  • The average domestic, non-resident visitor to Arizona stays 4.0 nights; the average party size is 2.9 persons; the average spend is $688 per party/trip.
  • Direct travel-related employment throughout the state was 184,200 in 2016.

It is important to note that the visitor industry employs, directly and indirectly, many residents throughout the state who, of course, move the economy along through their own purchases, investments and tax payments.

Visitor-related taxes are extremely efficient in their yield as visitors do not utilize most of the local, public services that governments and schools provide.

In fiscal year 2016-17, each dollar invested in Visit Mesa by the City of Mesa returned $19.78 in estimated future direct expenditures by meeting and event attendees booked during this fiscal year. This is a conservative figure and does not include leisure impacts driven by Visit Mesa’s efforts in Marketing, Communications and Social Media.


•  1.1 million visitors to Mesa (in 2016)

• The average number of nights spent in Mesa for an overnight trip was 4.3 nights.

• The average travel party size was 2.8 persons.

• The top activities and experiences on an overnight trip to Mesa were “Shopping,” “Fine Dining,” and  “Swimming.”

*Longwoods International 2017 Visitor Profile Study

Mesa Visitor Profile 2017



For more information on the impacts of Arizona tourism, please visit these resources below:

Arizona Visitation & Profiles, Source: Arizona Office of Tourism

Travel Facts & Figures, Source: U.S. Travel Association

Return on Investment Study, Source: Brand USA