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Arizona Tourism is Making it Rain in the Desert

Voters See Tourism as Arizona’s #1 Industry


PHOENIX (May 18, 2023) - When it comes to assessing the Arizona economy, voters assume that the largest stream of revenue flows from out of state. According to the most recent Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) survey conducted by the newly rebranded Noble Predictive Insights (NPI), a plurality (35%) of voters believe tourism is the largest money draw in the state, followed by the state’s income tax (26%). Agriculture, natural resources, public utilities, and state land acquisitions make up the remainder of voters’ assumption of Arizona’s most profitable industries.

“From the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon to high-profile sporting events like the Waste Management Open and Super Bowls, it’s no wonder that Arizonans see the state as an attractive destination for dollars from outside our borders,” says NPI Chief of Research Mike Noble. “After all, you don’t have to shovel sunshine.”

This Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) surveyed 1,000 registered voters in the State of Arizona from April 4th – April 11th, 2023, yielding a margin of error of +/-3.1%.


While voters are largely uniform in how they perceive the lucrative nature of Arizona’s different industries, there are a few interesting outliers. Voters 55 years old and older (50%) and White, non-Hispanic voters (44%) are most likely to rate tourism as the industry that contributes the most to the state’s bottom line. A plurality of Hispanic/Latinos (37%) and voters aged 18-54 (31%) believe the state’s income tax is the largest revenue stream.

Overall, voters’ assumption of the largest industry in the state was largely correct. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, the tourism industry brought in roughly $129 billion in revenue in the 2022 calendar year. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, the state collected $10.6 billion in income tax over the course of the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The utilities industry accounted for nearly $11 billion, agriculture brought in $2.7 billion, and the mining, oil, and gas industries brought in $245 million over the same time period.


With these statistics in mind, voters can accurately place tourism at the top of Arizona’s economy, but their accuracy tends to diminish when looking at smaller industries. For example, voters tended to overestimate the amount of income tax the state collects and how large of an impact the state’s natural resources have on the bottom line while failing to take into account the effect of the utilities industry on the state.


“This is a fairly innocent example of how voters can be somewhat disconnected from data,” said Noble. “Opinions and perceptions don’t always line up with the facts, but that’s what makes public opinion polling so interesting and important – finding those gaps and leveraging accurate data and insights to close them.”

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Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by Noble Predictive Insights from April 4th – 11th, 2023 from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 1,000 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.1%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.


Media Contact:

Veronica Sutliff, Noble Predictive Insights, v.sutliff@npredictive.com, (602) 390-5248

Mike Noble, Noble Predictive Insights, m.noble@npredictive.com, (480) 313-1837


About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to elevate the world around us by empowering leaders and decision-makers with digestible data and actionable insights that translate to data-based solutions. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (480) 313-1837 or visit our website at www.noblepredictiveinsights.com.

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