Community Update

SEPTEMBER 2021

Scottsdale welcomes 11 million annual visitors.

 

THE LATEST FOR SCOTTSDALE’S TOURISM INDUSTRY

Visitors gradually returned to our community in the spring, and they continued traveling here even as temperatures reached the triple digits. The rebound that the entire U.S. tourism industry has experienced so far in 2021 has been driven by such leisure visitors vacationing after months confined to their homes. Though occupancy rates at Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts tapered off from the pandemic-era high seen in March, they were near typical for Scottsdale’s summer season. The warm summer months are traditionally a need period for Scottsdale’s hotels and resorts – a time when local hospitality businesses rely on staycationers to keep revenues up until more visitors and meetings groups return along with the cooler weather. This July, occupancy at hotels and resorts was approximately 52%, just 3 percentage points shy of the same timeframe in 2019. Most visitors came from Arizona, California and Texas during the month. Scottsdale’s tourism industry has benefited from this surge of leisure travel after being hit hard during the early stages of the pandemic, but other segments of the industry must return to full volume for the industry’s sustained recovery. Scottsdale’s 11 million annual visitors include not only leisure travelers, but also international travelers, business travelers, and conference and meetings attendees. Read on to learn more about Experience Scottsdale’s efforts to revive the meetings sector of the travel industry.

BRINGING MEETINGS BACK TO THE DESTINATION

When corporations and national associations book meetings and conferences at Scottsdale’s hotels and resorts, it is a boon for the local community. Traditionally, meetings account for nearly half of all occupancy and revenue at Scottsdale’s upper-moderate hotels and resorts. Attendees not only fill hotel rooms, but they also experience the city’s dining and attractions, generating revenue for hospitality businesses and tax dollars for the city. While much of the U.S. tourism industry has been deeply impacted by COVID-19, no segment has been more affected than the meetings and events sector. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Experience Scottsdale has worked closely with meeting planners as they have canceled, postponed or scaled back their conferences and events. Meeting planners have sought guidance on ways to reconvene, and Experience Scottsdale has kept them apprised for the past 19 months about the benefits of congregating in Scottsdale, from unique outdoor venues to casita-style hotels and resorts. One bright spot for the sector has been sports tournaments. Experience Scottsdale has continued to bring soccer tournaments, baseball games and more to Scottsdale Stadium, WestWorld of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Sports Complex. But bringing lucrative meetings and conferences back to the community will help ensure Scottsdale’s tourism industry fully recovers. Throughout the pandemic, Experience Scottsdale’s sales team has strived to keep Scottsdale top of mind so that planners would choose the destination over hundreds of others. Through virtual outreach, we have educated meeting planners throughout North America about the venues and amenities available for their future conferences and events, which are often planned months and years in advance. Recovery may be on the horizon soon, as Experience Scottsdale’s sales leads have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and meeting planners have indicated they feel more confident planning larger, in-person gatherings with safety measures in place. Despite the challenges of the 2020-21 fiscal year, Experience Scottsdale secured future group business that will fill nearly 83,400 room nights over the coming years, injecting $45.6 million of economic impact into the community.

HELPING YOU PLAN YOUR STAYCATIONS AND EVENTS

You’ve likely played tourist in your own backyard over the past 19 months, and Experience Scottsdale is here to help you explore the opportunities in the area even further. Though many of Experience Scottsdale’s campaigns and programs target out-of-state travelers, the inspiration we provide doesn’t know city or state lines. You’ll find articles about the area’s myriad offerings and special events at ExperienceScottsdale.com, along with maps and guides of the area, from a comprehensive guide to Old Town Scottsdale to a map of Scottsdale’s coffee shops, wine tasting rooms and breweries. Our annual Scottsdale Visitor Guide includes listings for Scottsdale’s resorts, restaurants, golf courses, spas, attractions, and more. You can download the guide online or request a free copy. Guides also are available at the Scottsdale Tourist Information Center, located inside Scottsdale Fashion Square. There, you can pick up copies for visiting friends and family, along with brochures and information on the area’s hospitality businesses. Our knowledgeable concierge is available to help answer your questions about things to see and do in the city. Experience Scottsdale also is active on social media, providing updates about events, businesses and activities on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube. But Experience Scottsdale offers you more than just inspiration. After a year and a half of delayed events, from family reunions to weddings, Experience Scottsdale can assist you as you look to celebrate life’s biggest moments at Scottsdale-area hotels, resorts and venues. We offer free consultation services, providing recommendations and arranging tours that meet your event needs and budget. No matter how you’re looking to experience Scottsdale, know that Experience Scottsdale is here to help.