New Arizona Office of Tourism exec helps plot marketing strategy

Travel and tourism are crucial to the state’s economic success, Stephanie Dowling, the new deputy director for the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) -- the only statewide marketing agency promoting the Grand Canyon State -- said.

They are so important, in fact, that during 2014, more than 40 million visitors generated almost $21 billion throughout Arizona, injecting nearly $57 million daily into the state’s economy.

Such importance, Dowling told Arizona Business Daily, makes it “vital for our agency to have a strategic approach to our marketing efforts to make certain we are encouraging the travel activity that is so critical to our state.”

Specifically, Dowling said she will work in her new position to further develop “a strategic and integrated approach to our advertising, public relations and communications efforts to ensure we are reaching potential travelers in the most effective manner possible.”

Right off the bat, that means AOT has several timely tourism projects to tackle, Dowling said. Dowling brings to the office almost two decades of communications expertise, including 10 years specializing in tourism and destination marketing.

“As we enter into the fall season, travelers will be looking for information to book their next vacation,” Dowling said. “We need to ensure they can see and access Arizona travel information, so we will be working to launch various marketing and advertising efforts to inspire travelers to choose Arizona as their vacation destination.”

Such efforts include the AOT’s continued message: Arizona is a welcoming and wonderful place to visit.”

What makes the state such a great vacation destination is that it offers “such diversity in travel experiences for people to enjoy, including amazing outdoor adventures, shopping, resorts, sporting events and wonderful local cuisine," Dowling told Arizona Business Daily,

In particular, Arizona's warm weather during the winter is a major attraction for travelers, Dowling said.

“They can enjoy outdoor adventures during the winter months, but still have access to and enjoy winter sports such as skiing in many parts of our state,” Dowling said.

For travel and tourism information from the Arizona Office of Tourism, call (602) 364-3724.

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