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Wine Survey Released by Arizona Office of Tourism Provides Valuable Insight into Growing Industry

July 25, 2011

State’s Wine Industry Has Become Major Tourism Asset and Revenue Generator

According to a survey commissioned by the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT), Arizona’s emerging wine industry contributes an estimated $38 million dollars into the state’s economy.  What’s more, the developing industry has become a substantial tourism attraction for Arizona’s rural communities, significantly impacting local economies.

Currently, there are more than 45 licensed wineries within the state of Arizona, with 10 licensed tasting rooms. More than 650 acres of vines are located throughout the Grand Canyon State, which produce 66,000 gallons and 21,000 cases of both red and white wine per year. Wineries in Arizona are located in two distinct areas in the southeast and north-central parts of the state. The southeast wineries, the oldest and most established, are located in the Santa Cruz County communities of Sonoita and Elgin, and in Cochise Country near Dragoon and Willcox. The northern wineries are a newer phenomenon, developing over the last decade in the Verde Valley of Yavapai County, where wineries are concentrated in the communities of Page Springs, Cottonwood and Jerome.

The report, Arizona’s Wine Tourism Industry Survey, was conducted by Northern Arizona University’s, Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center. The goal was to gather market research on Arizona’s developing wine industry, including visitor demographics, travel patterns, satisfaction perceptions of the Arizona wine experience and spending patterns. Additionally, the survey calculated the economic impact of the industry to the state’s economy. The survey collected more than 500 surveys from the state’s three wine growing regions in Santa Cruz, Cochise and Yavapai Counties, over a four-month period from February through May 2011.

“The Arizona wine industry has achieved such extraordinary successes with products that complement our state’s diversity and vibrancy,” said Sherry Henry, AOT’s director. “From this survey, we learned just how important this industry is to our tourism industry, as well as to the state’s economic vitality.” 

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Wine visitors have a higher annual income ($88, 149) than Arizona visitors on average ($76,000)
  • 60% of visitors are from in-state on day trips and are mostly from Maricopa (55%) and Pima (33%) counties
  • 40% are from out-of-state
  • 83% said the experience was “better than expected” and are highly satisfied with the Arizona wine experience
  • Among the top reasons to visit Arizona’s wine country, visitors want to enjoy tasting wine, socializing with friends and experience the beauty of rural Arizona
  • 70% make purchases at the winery they visit, spending an average on $70 on three bottles
  • The industry generates $6 million in state and local taxes, as well as generates  more than 400 jobs

The Information gained from the Arizona Wine Tourism Industry Survey will assist the statewide wineries, vineyards, tasting rooms and local tourism communities in the wine regions with targeted marketing efforts, product development and advocacy for a budding industry that is critical to the health of these rural regional communities.

“People have been attracted to Arizona because of the outdoor adventures, rich history and amazing scenery,” said Tom Pitts, president of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. “Now they are attracted to our wine industry. This industry has really become a major economic contributor to not only the Verde Valley area but other areas as well and brings in new money into these rural areas.”

To review the complete Arizona Wine Tourism Industry Survey, visit the Research section of www.azot.gov.   For more information about the Arizona Wine Industry, visit www.arizonawine.org or visit www.verdevalleywineconsortium.com.


About Arizona Office of Tourism

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion and development. AOT works to serve the Grand Canyon State’s travel industry and related businesses, the traveling public, and the taxpayers of Arizona. For more information, visit www.azot.gov.

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