Scottsdale tourism begins to recover sooner than expected

The city of Scottsdale is seeing a boost in tourism and it came much earlier than industry experts expected.

According to Experience Scottsdale, the city is above the national average for tourism as of May 3. Many travelers looked to Scottsdale because it was open, COVID-19 protocol-wise.

It's an increase in business for shops, restaurants and hotels after feeling the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was unexpected because we weren’t sure what that was going to be like with some events and smaller scales," says Stephanie Presser, director of community affairs at Experience Scottsdale.

At the start of 2021, occupancy levels for hotels and resorts rose from 30% in January to 65% in March, which is a big increase from 2020 numbers.

"65% is good for COVID era. Our low water mark was in April of last year which was just 10% occupancy at our hotels and resorts," Presser explains.

While this is good news, it is still not hitting the 90% occupancy rates Scottsdale usually sees during spring when tourists come to experience spring training and the great weather.

"We still have a ways to go for recovery. We know leisure travel is going to lead the way for that sustained recovery," Presser says.

The way to fully bounce back is for international travel and corporate events to return. Right now, domestic travelers are holding up the tourism industry in Scottsdale.

Though we are heading into the summer months and tourism is starting to dip again, as it does at this time every year, Experience Scottsdale is encouraging locals to consider stay-cations at resorts in the Valley.