Gas Prices Make Vacationers Rethink Their Travel Plans to AZ

By: Art Gib

The rise in crude oil has reached a record landmark price of 120 bucks a barrel. Even with inflation factored in, this still takes the cake. For Arizona the trickle down effect has hit them broad side. Not so many people are taking as many trips to visit the big ditch as much. Although it's not going to be no ghost village this year mind you. But the Arizona Hotels and tourism industry is focusing a campaign on getting their locals to make a trip this year.

The recession has taken a bit of a toll on Arizona hotels and other industries that cater to tourism. The one sector that really slowed the flow of out-of-state tourism was the effect of the airline industry. Unfortunately with fuel prices spiking, the price of tickets will do so as well. The Arizona hotels industry is preparing to lower hotel costs if the domestic travel does not pick up as much.

The numbers coming in are better than the yearly average, but since the tourism season in Arizona is in the winter and fall the Arizona office of tourism is trying to shift gears with their campaign for the summer. Instead of stressing the idea of seasonal differences (i.e. warm in the winter, cold in, say, Wisconsin) they are focusing on their landmarks and tourism package deals.

Arizona Tourist Organizations Use Social Networking to Bolster Interest

Many of the major cities through Arizona are pooling their leadership with the Arizona Office of Tourism to launch a PR program through their own social media site. Recently they are coming at a new angle that deals with visitor submitted content regarding personal accounts while visiting Arizona.

They're putting up some vacation packages deals in the pot to see how many respond with their entries. They'll judge the entries based on how touching or meaningful they can portray their trip to Arizona. It's a stunt that they hope will resonate with those online -- usually to younger readers, and hopeful summer travelers. The winner will get a vacation to Arizona with a bunch of other perks.

The Arizona hotels market also has a hand in it, since they are dependent year round on tourist's income.

The ads have been hitting some of the bigger social networking sites as well, such as: Xanga, MySpace, Flickr and Facebook.

On another positive note for the state, Arizona will usually catch the usual windfall of international tourism as well. The national park system lures scads of European and Asian travelers every year. Although it's a bit ironic, the weakening of the dollar has left businesses stuck with inflation and more expensive overhead, but with foreigners coming in throwing around the Euro and Yen, it's been a counter balance for the state's economy.

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