Visit Tucson is a nonprofit organization that offers destination marketing services to attract and provide Tucson visitors with their ideal travel and meeting experiences. Recently, this organization presented their 2016-2017 Marketing Plan at their Annual Meeting.

Their initiatives are similar to Pima County’s Economic Development Plan. Pima County’s plan describes increasing tourism spending because it is “vital to Pima County’s continued growth and investment back into the community.” Visitors spend $2.2 billion annually in Pima County and Visit Tucson generates about $23 in economic impact for every $1 invested in the organization.

Pima County’s investment, in organizations like these, is important in helping the local economy bounce back from the recent recession. In 2015, Visit Tucson conducted a survey of 15 comparably-sized regional tourism competitors, including Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, San Antonio, etc. As it turns out, Tucson spends the very least on destination marketing. Despite that, Visit Tucson accomplished many achievements.

One of them aligns with Pima County’s Economic Development Plan’s Action Items to identify business and tourism opportunities in Mexico and meeting with local officials. Similarly, Visit Tucson’s Mexico Marketing team “conducts marketing programs to position Tucson and Southern Arizona as the destination of choice for Mexican visitors.” They were an important component in my recent Rocky Point/Pima County two-day exchange with Mayor Ernesto “Kiko” Munro, which encouraged transnational economic development and tourism.

Visit Tucson also helped establish nonstop flights from Tucson International Airport (TIA) to New York City. As of October 7, 2016, TIA will offer daily direct flights on American Airlines between these two cities. Visit Tucson has committed up to $250,000 along with $3 million from the Tucson Metro Chamber and TIA toward an air-service development fund to expand air-service from TIA. The local economy stands to benefit from this connection because research shows that New York visitors spend the most when traveling.

Other objectives include developing programs tied to Tucson’s designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, continuing to grow Tucson’s film production industry and increasing support for medical tourism, to name a few. As Visit Tucson continues to increase its regional economic impact, Pima County will continue to support their endeavors in partnerships and investments.

For more information, check out these links:

Visit Tucson’s Marketing Plan

Pima County’s Economic Development Plan

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