April 23, 2024 1:32 am

Local News

COVID-19’s Impact on Arizona Travel

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Armand Jackson

With the decrease in travel throughout the past few years due to the pandemic, states like Arizona have felt the impact of less tourists traveling to the state for vacation trips. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism 2020 Economic Impact Data report there was a massive decrease in revenue and visitors in comparison to 2019. The amount of direct travel spending generated within Arizona annually decreased by 41 percent compared to 2019, domestic overnight visitors to the state decreased by 25.8 percent, and international visitors, as well as overseas visitation, decreased by 68 percent and 84 percent respectively. 

The United States Census Bureau in collaboration with other federal government agencies, has produced data for the past two years on the social and economic effects of the pandemic on American households through a survey called the Household Pulse Survey. The survey collects data and measures household experiences on things like trips taken during the pandemic, vaccinations, education, employment, food sufficiency, household spending, and even more categories. The survey data is experimental, but it can still offer insight on travel behavior amongst Arizona residents.

There are 44 weeks worth of data on travel in the state spaced out in time intervals known as phases and the ongoing one, named Phase 3.4, is scheduled to end on May 9th. Week 13, the time frame of August 19, 2020 to August 31, 2020, was the time they started to collect survey data on trips taken during the pandemic. According to the collected data, roughly 65 percent of the nearly 5.6 million Arizona participants had reportedly taken fewer trips, even to the store, in the previous seven days due to the pandemic. 

Over a year later in week 40, December 1 through December 13, 2021, 47 percent of the 839,856 participants in Arizona had reportedly taken fewer trips due to the pandemic. Week 44 data is still ongoing but 45 percent of the 751,746 Arizona participants  reported taking fewer trips in the previous seven days due to the pandemic. This data indicates that more Arizona residents like those in Maricopa County are becoming slightly more comfortable traveling again.