Phoenix Hotels: Visitors Generate Over $166M in Annual Tax Revenue

Visitors staying at area hotels generated over $166 million in property and sales tax revenue in 2008, according to a new survey of Phoenix hotels by the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That tax revenue, which amounts to a gross tax yield of more than $6,300 per Phoenix hotel room, is "important for us all," according to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

"Tens of thousands of Arizona jobs are directly related to tourism—the majority of them right here in the Valley," Gordon said in a statement. "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.

"Whether we know it or not, we all have a direct stake in tourism. It matters how many visitors we get. It matters how many conventions we host. It matters how many meetings are scheduled for Phoenix and the Valley. Whether you work at the airport or at a flower shop 300 miles from the airport, you are one of the faces of tourism."

Of the $166 million that Phoenix hotels paid last year, $45 million—or approximately 27 percent—was from hotel property taxes, according to Greater Phoenix CVB President Steve Moore, who pointed out that the amount, approximately $1,710 per hotel room, is 8 percent more than the median Phoenix household property tax, although a hotel room is many times smaller than a house.

"When one considers that a visitor uses a fraction of the government services provided to residents," he said, "[tourism] is a great investment for the state, county and city."