PHOENIX, AZ……How can you help the local economy? Both a national and a local study have been released that illustrates the connection between business travel and our local economy. Meetings mean business – and good, clean business for the Greater Phoenix region. The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau is busy reaching out to persuade both national and international groups to plan their meetings here. If we all pitch in, we can help ignite the economy right here where we live.

If you are a member of an association or group that regularly meets or know someone who is, we need your help to hold that meeting here. Let’s bring it home to Phoenix. Anyone who submits a qualified lead for a group booking will be entered in a monthly drawing for dinner for two to a Valley restaurant. If the meeting books a hotel in Maricopa County, using at least 25 hotel rooms, the submitter receives at least one night at one of our Valley resorts. You can experience yourself what a night out at a local resort feels like – for free. If you have information about a group that should meet here, email Diana Nye, or call 602-452-6223, with the details. And we can help bring the meeting to Greater Phoenix.

Tourism studies show economic impact

In Washington DC a national study conducted by leading global research firm Oxford Economics established the clear link between business travel and business growth. For every dollar invested in business travel, businesses experience an average $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits, according to the findings.

In tough economic times, many business executives have an understandable short-run focus on managing costs. “We know that business travel is good for Phoenix’ economy, but this study quantifies the return on investment that businesses experience when they hold meetings, conferences and events here. We’re pleased to have this data point out the long term benefits of business travel,” said Steve Moore, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix CVB.

At a press conference at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix this week, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said the contribution of the tourism industry “is important for us all.” He noted, “Tens of thousands of Arizona jobs are directly related to tourism – the majority of them right here in the Valley. But teachers, police officers, fire fighters, utility companies and bankers are no more than One Degree of Separation from the tourism industry. Because tax revenues generated from the industry go toward our schools, public safety, libraries, pools, parks, and streets.”

Moore said the survey the CVB conducted calculated to a gross tax yield per hotel room of more than $6,300. “Hotel property taxes are 27% of this total, or over $45 million. This equates to $1,710 per room, which is eight percent greater than the median Phoenix household property tax, yet a hotel room is much smaller than a house. When one considers that a visitor uses a fraction of the government services provided to residents, this is a great investment for the state, county and city,” Moore said.

Below is an example of local citizens who have helped bring it home:

1) Ray Acuna - President, Arizona Chapter of American Public Works Association
a. APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition 2015- Aug/ Sept.
7,000 delegates

2) Al Bravo - Associate Director of Public Affairs, U of A College of Medicine
a. Nat’l. Conference on Tobacco or Health –Nat’l Conference- June 2009 – 3,500 delegates
b. U. S. Army Force Health Protection Conference – August 2010 – 2,600 delegates
c. Safety Pharmacology Society – Oct. 2012 – 600 delegates
d. Clinical Laboratory Management Assn- ThinkLab Conference & Exhibition May 2013- 4,300 Delegates.

3) Ms. Jamie Morris Levine - Public Relations Director, Phoenix Suns
a. 2009 NBA ALL STAR Weekend. Feb. 2009- attracted over 100,000 people to Downtown Phoenix. Over $35 million in Impact.

4) Steve Yozwiak - Senior Science Writer, T-GEN
a. Amer. College of Medical Genetics – Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting March 2008 – 1,500 Delegates
b. Currently working on booking a 3- year deal for: Intel Int’l. Science & Engineering Fair* –May 2013/2016/2019 – 6,500 delegates per year

5) Ms. Tina Keith- Local President Chapter - Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC).
a. US Green Building Council- 10,000 Delegates – Nov. 2009.

6) Ms. Inger Erickson, Deputy Director City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department
a. Nat’l. Recreation & Park Assn – Annual Congress – Oct. 2015 – 9,900 delegates

And a special thanks to Mayor Gordon and the Phoenix City Council, in particular Councilman Johnson, in directing the city’s efforts to help us land the Nat’l League of Cities – Congress of Cities. Nov. 2011, 6,000 delegates.