Arizona Highways plays big role in state tourism

By Lori Baker / ADOT Communications

Arizona Highways Magazine April 2020 coverShowcasing Arizona’s beauty, diverse culture and rich history with stunning photography and compelling articles, Arizona Highways magazine (AHM) plays a major role in boosting the state’s tourism economy, as detailed in a new research report.

The world-renowned monthly publication brings more than $43 million annually of direct tourism revenue to Arizona, according to subscriber surveys and economic modeling analyzed as part of a new ADOT research study. The study was conducted by a team at Arizona State University under the direction of the ADOT Research Center. For every $1 spent by Arizona Highways, at least $3.74 enters Arizona’s economy from out-of-state subscribers whose travel decisions were influenced by the magazine.

“The study confirms the importance and impact the magazine and brand have on the tourism community throughout Arizona. It also confirms the exceptional work the entire Arizona Highways team does each and every day,” said Arizona Highways Magazine Publisher Kelly Mero.

The “Economic Impact and Contribution of Arizona Highways Magazine to State Tourism” study, published in December 2020, describes how Arizona Highways magazine, its ancillary products and brand influence travel and tourism decision-making, along with the spending habits of Arizona travelers and outof-state visitors.

The study points to how travel spending generates taxes for state and local governments and pumps tourism dollars into communities across the state, particularly in places featured in the magazine and its branded products. In-state expenditures by Arizona residents are important to many rural communities, where the tourism market includes residents from the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Arizona Highways magazine tourism economic impactPeople are loyal to the Arizona Highways brand across multiple platforms as Arizona Highways magazine subscribers, AHM Facebook page users, Arizona Highways TV show viewers and Arizona Highways retail product purchasers, the study’s researchers reported. Highlights of the report include:

  • About 87% of subscribers keep their magazines for trip planning months or even years later.
  • Facebook users primarily seek information about sightseeing, day trips and recreation from the AHM Facebook page.
  • About 77% of shoppers at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport AHM gift shop subscribe to Arizona Highways magazine.
  • Focus groups of Arizona Highways TV viewers indicated that the show informs their travel decisions.

The research study, funded partially by the Federal Highway Administration, is the latest in a series of studies conducted about every seven years to assess the impact of the AHM brand. While Arizona Highways magazine is part of ADOT, it does not receive state funding and is financially self-reliant.