Community Update

JUNE 2021

Experience Scottsdale generates $247 million in annual economic impact.



With the first signs of spring, Scottsdale’s tourism industry saw the first signs of recovery. And this is good news for Scottsdale’s community at large, which depends upon a strong visitor economy to support our quality of life. Occupancy rates at Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts began climbing in February, reaching a pandemic-era high of 65% in March. Visitors were booking trips within days, and many hotels and resorts were selling out on the weekends. Though we welcomed more visitors this spring than last, the industry remains far off pace from 2019, meaning the city continues to miss out on important visitor spending and visitor-paid tax dollars. Tourism promotion will play a vital role in Scottsdale’s sustained economic recovery. Experience Scottsdale will keep visitors inspired and engaged with the destination to maintain this momentum. Historic data indicates that Scottsdale’s tourism industry is resilient, and that Experience Scottsdale’s promotions move the needle in a positive direction. According to research companies Longwoods International and Tourism Economics, Experience Scottsdale’s promotions generate $247 million in annual economic impact. Read on to learn more about our latest initiatives to promote travel and tourism.


Where do we go from here? After more than a year of suffering caused by COVID-19, it’s a question that weighs on all our minds. It’s a question we ask as everything – workplaces, events, travel – gradually returns to normal. It’s also a question we at Experience Scottsdale asked ourselves when considering our efforts to promote travel and tourism in our 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins next month. Though more and more people are traveling within the U.S., this crisis continues to impact much of the world. And while travel optimism is on the rise, we will likely continue to see some travelers delaying trips and many staying closer to home throughout the remainder of 2021. Over the next few months, Experience Scottsdale will continue increasing brand awareness among regional and drive markets. Virtual platforms allowed Experience Scottsdale to connect with thousands of domestic and international meeting planners, travel professionals and media throughout the pandemic. Those virtual programs will continue, though our team will host more clients in the destination and return to those important in-person meetings as the months progress. And as cross-country and cross-border travel become more accessible, we will expand the reach of our marketing campaigns throughout the U.S. and Canada. All these programs, which will depend on the continued evolution of the coronavirus, will allow us to remain competitive for both current and future travelers and meetings groups.


One of our first steps in this ongoing recovery effort is to drive demand during the summer. Tourism is a seasonal industry, and while much of the U.S. enjoys peak visitation throughout the summer months, this time of year is a need period for Scottsdale’s hospitality businesses. Once the mercury rises, Scottsdale’s visitation falls. To help drive additional visitation Memorial Day through Labor Day, Experience Scottsdale deploys an annual marketing campaign that encourages potential visitors to plan value-saving staycations and vacations throughout June, July and August. This year, Experience Scottsdale’s campaign is targeting all the brave souls who won’t let a little heat get in the way of a good time. Experience Scottsdale is seeking out the “travel warriors” among potential visitors in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. Radio and digital advertising are highlighting the fun to be had in Scottsdale, triple-digit temperatures be damned, while directing visitors to for information about sizzling deals and activities. Experience Scottsdale also is partnering with bloggers and influencers to extend the reach of our campaign further. These content creators are posting to Instagram, YouTube and their blogs, sharing all the things to see and do in Scottsdale even when the temperature rises. 


If you began planning trips of your own earlier this spring, perhaps you spotted the article “Top Outdoor Attractions in Scottsdale” on in your quest for travel inspiration. Or if you’re a United frequent flyer, maybe you flipped through the February issue of the airlines’ in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, and saw images of Scottsdale gracing the 16-page article, “Three Perfect Days in Arizona.” These are just two results of Experience Scottsdale’s public relations efforts to generate positive publicity about Scottsdale in print, broadcast and online publications. Such media exposure lends further credibility to Experience Scottsdale’s promotions and marketing messages, like our current summer campaign. In markets where advertising dollars are scarce or nonexistent, media coverage is critical in positioning Scottsdale as a luxury travel destination. Travel writers have continued to publish throughout the pandemic, sharing the ways their readers can get out and explore destinations safely. Experience Scottsdale has ensured Scottsdale has featured prominently in publications, securing more than 600 media hits fiscal year to date through March.