NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK, MAY 7-13
Today, our nation begins its observance of the 34th annual National Travel & Tourism Week, a tribute to America’s travel and tourism industry, established by congressional resolution in 1983. We will join travel and hospitality organizations in every state promoting the significant contributions they make to the local economy in their communities. Together, we will spotlight the millions of people who are employed in and keep our industry strong with this year’s theme, Faces of Travel.
THE FACES OF TRAVEL
The travel industry in Pima County directly supports 24,060 jobs, as diverse as they are numerous. These jobs include the gate agent at Tucson International Airport, the marketing manager at your favorite attraction, the massage therapist at one of our top destination spas and the general manager of a large resort property. In the spirit of the week, we have profiled three of Tucson’s Faces of Travel below.
Ghee Alexander, General Manager
Hilton El Conquistador Resort
Ghee Alexander moved to the United States from India when he was 17 to attend medical school. Now, he employs 360 incredibly diverse individuals as the GM at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Oro Valley. Nestled against the Santa Catalina Mountains, Alexander takes pride in the resort’s initiative to provide a uniquely southwestern experience for guests. He says Oro Valley and the greater Tucson area offer a magical landscape to explore, accommodating resorts for pampering, and, of course, stunning desert sunsets.
Michael Mallozzi, Co-owner
Borderlands Brewing Company
For Mike Mallozzi, tourism is more than an economic driver. It’s an essential push for people to “get out of their comfort zones.” Mallozzi would know – his path to opening Borderlands Brewing Company in downtown Tucson started after finishing a doctorate in microbiology at Loyola University in Chicago. According to Mallozzi, what gives downtown Tucson its unique character is the overwhelming number of locallyowned businesses. Oh, and its excellent beer scene, too.
On her first visit to Tucson, Pallante was looking forward to enjoying a friend’s wedding and a romantic trip away with her husband. Coming from Irvine, California, Tucson offered a welcome change and inviting desert landscape. When looking for a vacation destination, Pallante and her husband typically look for beautiful sights and new things to do. Her resort recommended visits to Biosphere 2, Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for an immersive taste of Tucson and its local flavor.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TRAVEL & TOURSIM
Nationally, the travel industry directly supports 8.6 million jobs and generates $2.3 trillion for the U.S. economy. In 2016, direct travel spending by domestic and international visitors in the U.S. totaled $990.3 billion.
Locally, visitors to Tucson and Pima County spent $2.24 billion in 2015 and contributed more than $197 million in state and local taxes. Because of this visitor spending, each Pima County household had their tax burden reduced by $490.
If you need ideas on how to entertain visiting family and friends or you simply want to explore Tucson and Southern Arizona, please go to VisitTucson.org or stop by Visit Tucson’s shared visitor center with the University of Arizona located at 811 N. Euclid Ave, on the Northwest corner of Euclid Ave. and University Blvd.
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