Arizona Tourism on the Rise: Hotel Industry Outpacing Other States

Arizona Tourism on the Rise: Hotel Industry Outpacing Other States

Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson announced this week that Arizona’s lodging industry outperformed the national average in every major year-over-year performance indicator in 2016.

According to year-end data from the market research firm Smith Travel Research, Arizona’s hotel industry experienced gains that outpaced the U.S. average in several areas, including occupancy, average daily rate, and revenue per available room (RevPAR).

Every single county in Arizona enjoyed growth in RevPAR (the metric used by the hotel industry to measure financial performance). Rural Arizona—defined as counties beyond Maricopa and Pima—saw an 8.2 percent increase. That’s nearly three times the national average.

“Hotel performance is one of the strongest indicators of a healthy visitor market, and this data makes it clear that Arizona’s tourism industry is on the rise,” said Governor Ducey. “It’s hard to beat Arizona’s lifestyle—good people, a strong economy, and 300 days of sunshine per year—and that quality of life is on display for every visitor who spends time in our state.”

In 2015, visitors to Arizona spent $21 billion and generated $3 billion in local, state and federal taxes. All year-end data has not been collected for the entirety of 2016, but Arizona’s tourism industry is likely to have eclipsed those figures last year based on hotel revenues and the third-quarter report for overnight visitors.

“All signs point to growth in tourism revenue, which we’re seeing every month,” said Director Johnson. “And this tourism revenue will positively impact every county in the state.”

To learn more about tourism in Arizona, log on to

What are some of the most popular places to stay in Arizona? According to, the ten best luxury hotels in Arizona are:

  • Hyatt Regency Scottdale
    Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

    Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch (Scottsdale;; tel. 800/554-9288): Contemporary architecture, dramatic landscaping, a water playground with its own beach, a staff that’s always ready to assist you, good restaurants, and even gondola rides — it all adds up to a lot of fun at one of the most smoothly run resorts in Arizona.

  • Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa (Scottsdale;; tel. 800/242-2635): The Camelback Inn, opened in 1936 and kept up-to-date with regular renovations, is today one of the few Scottsdale resorts that retains an Old Arizona atmosphere while at the same time offering a wide range of modern amenities.
  • The Phoenician (Scottsdale;; tel. 800/888-8234): This Xanadu of the resort world is brimming with marble, crystal, and works of art, and with staff seemingly around every corner, the hotel offers guests impeccable service. Camelback Mountain looms above the resort’s lush grounds.
  • Fairmont Scottsdale (Scottsdale;; tel. 800/344-4758): The Moorish styling and numerous fountains and waterfalls of this resort create a setting made for romance. A beautiful spa, a challenging golf course, and a superb modern steakhouse top it off.
  • Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Scottsdale;; tel. 888/207-9696): Located in north Scottsdale amid a jumble of giant granite boulders, this is the most luxurious resort in the Phoenix area. The setting is dramatic, the accommodations are spacious, and one of Arizona’s top golf courses is next door.
  • Arizona Biltmore (Phoenix;; tel. 800/950-0086): Combining discreet service and the architectural styling of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Biltmore has long been one of the most prestigious resorts in the state. This is a thoroughly old-money sort of place, though it continues to keep pace with the times.
  • InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa (Paradise Valley;; tel. 888/627-3010): Set at the foot of Camelback Mountain, this compact boutique resort draws on Spain’s famed Alhambra for architectural inspiration and feels exceedingly exotic. The location is convenient to both Phoenix and Scottsdale.
  • Enchantment Resort (Sedona;; tel. 800/826-4180): A breathtaking setting in a red-rock canyon makes this the most unforgettable resort in Arizona. If you want to feel as though you’re truly vacationing in the desert, this place fits the bill. Guest rooms are constructed in a pueblo architectural style, and the spa is one of the finest in the state.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain (Marana;; tel. 800/241-3333): Set amid saguaro-covered hills, this luxury resort 45 minutes outside Tucson feels as though it is in a national park. The resort’s Western ranch styling, desert landscaping, and access to miles of hiking trails make it a superb place to experience the desert.
  • Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (Tucson;; tel. 800/234-5117): With the Santa Catalina Mountains rising in the backyard and a little waterfall steps away from the lobby, this is Tucson’s most dramatic resort. Contemporary styling throughout makes constant reference to the desert setting.

Sources: Frommer’s and Office of Governor Doug Ducey

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