Tourists pump $165 million into the Kingman economy

KINGMAN - The Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center and 17 partner locations in and around Kingman, including Grand Canyon West, conducted a yearlong visitor survey to determine the impact of tourism. The study, sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism, demonstrated that the travel industry constitutes a huge impact to the local economy, with direct expenditures of $165 million, supporting 2,134 jobs. That impact grows dramatically to $268 million and 3,101 jobs for Mohave County when including indirect and induced expenditures: Revenues resulting from inter-industry transactions and dollars recirculated within the community by tourism industry employees.

"We were able to get a very good number of completed surveys; 2,520 surveys," said Cheryl Cothran Ph.D., director of the Hospitality Research & Resource Center at Northern Arizona University, which compiled the data. "Compared to many of the other communities in which we have surveyed, this is a very good number. This gives us a high confidence in the findings."

Results were compiled into two parts, one concentrating on the Kingman area and the other on Grand Canyon West. What did Kingman visitor traffic look like? The average group size was 3.2 with an average age of 52.4 years. Boomers represented 54% of the survey, Gen-X came in second at 25%. The average household income of the sample was $73,267, with 65% of these visitors staying overnight an average of 3 nights and spending an average of $638 per party per day. Respondents of the survey represented all but two states, 21% from California, and 55 countries, 31% from Canada.

International traffic to Kingman represented a whopping 28% of the sample. "That is a good percentage of foreign visitors - relatively few communities in rural Arizona have that high a number," said Thomas Combrink, senior research analyst. "It is because of your location and because of old Route 66; foreign visitors love old Route 66."

At the end of the day, people enjoyed their experiences. Kingman received a median satisfactory rating of 9.0 out of 10. Frequent comments included: "beautiful," "interesting," "fun," "wonderful," and "great," and many responses for "friendly people."

The Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center plans to use the information compiled in the report to better target potential tourists and include Kingman in more travel itineraries. Anyone interested in reviewing the full 205 page report can download it from the Kingman Powerhouse website at: KingmanTourism.org, under the "About Us" tab drop down and select "Tourism Committee."