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Pima Supes channel $1Million to tourist development

Building tourism in the pandemic–and after
Posted at 7:55 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 22:11:56-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County is working to keep our important tourist business alive even with the COVID pandemic. At their meeting Tuesday the Pima County Supervisors voted to invest a million dollars in tourist development and efforts to build Tucson’s reputation as an internationally recognized city of gastronomy.

Arizona’s winter weather can look mighty good if you’re freezing in some northern icebox. Visit Tucson’s CEO Felipe Garcia says it’s no accident some of Visit Tucson’s advertising budget will go to ads on weather websites.

“Someone in Chicago in the next few days are going to be wondering to themselves should I put that extra shovel in the trunk of my car, because there's going to be very cold and snowy and the moment they turn to the website they're going to see a Visit Tucson ad or Tucson ad with a little video and we'll know if they click that video and we'll know that actually ended up purchasing a ticket.”

Garcia says individual travel to our area is fairly strong. It’s easier to keep a safe distance in our wide open spaces.

It’s been more challenging to bring back big business conventions but they still value face to face interaction. Some are starting to book events here for the near future—others are planning events for two or three years out when it’s reasonable to hope COVID will be some hard history, but history.

Nicole Dahl, the General Manager of Hotel McCoysays that hotel has maintained a good mix of leisure and business travelers. She says vaccinations and careful cleaning techniques help people travel with confidence—and it helps that Tucson offers plenty to do outdoors.

“I would say one thing that we have going for us is it's not freezing cold here. So there's a lot of outdoor activities that you can do and for me that just feels a lot safer than being indoors. So we have the Desert Museum, the Botanical Gardens, we have an awesome zoo, we have great hiking trails, biking trails, Tucson is a place for a lot of outdoor activity. The weather's great. I'm not going anywhere because I'd love to be here.”

And now, Visit Tucson will have more money to make sure people around the country see that message as soon as they get some of that snow out of the way.