Arizona Tourism Officials in Chicago Inspiring Travel to Grand Canyon State!

Arizona tourism officials are in Chicago this week encouraging Chicagoans to Warm Up in AZ and plan their next vacation to the Grand Canyon State.

"Chicago is one of our most important visitor relationships," said Debbie Johnson, Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "We continually look for ways to build a strong connection to locals so Arizona is top-of-mind as they plan their travel get-a-ways."

Arizona tourism officials have been actively marketing in Chicago for the last several months with digital billboards and mall advertising featuring vibrant images of Arizona's winter-time activities that can be enjoyed through the state. Additionally, Arizona will be featured at the upcoming Travel and Adventure Show in Chicago, January 23-24. Considered to be the largest consumer travel shows in the U.S., the event is an opportunity to connect with locals to tell them about Arizona's unique travel offerings.

However, tourism officials want to do more than just tell residents about Arizona. They want consumers to experience and taste Arizona. Those attending the Travel and Adventure Show can do this by testing their agility on an obstacle course that resembles what could be found at Flagstaff Extreme, northern Arizona's popular outdoor obstacle course attraction. Watch two award-winning chefs, Chef Michael Cairns and Chef Janos Wilder, prepare a delectable taste of Arizona with ingredients grown on Arizona farms. Taste wine from a variety of Arizona wineries. Take a scenic ride of Arizona by using a Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Headset. Enjoy a photo opportunity while "fishing" from a kayak or in front of a green screen booth featuring  images of Arizona's national parks. There will also be a chance to enter an Arizona vacation sweepstakes.

Previous marketing efforts by Arizona tourism officials included outfitting Chicago’s Fullerton Station in January 2015 with a Station Domination initiative. Oversized props of sunglasses, swim trunks and a bikini warmed the imagination of commuters, while Arizona-branded heating stations gave an actual taste of southwest weather. The entire station featured floor-to-ceiling images of beautiful and scenic landscapes so locals felt as if they were stepping into a warm-weather escape. The year before featured an award-winning campaign which included a wallscape with a 3D build out of two 16-foot, 400-pound flip-flops to capture the attention of commuters in downtown and encouraged them to kick off their own shoes and let themselves go in Arizona.

Arizona's consumer travel advertising campaign in Chicago is part of a more concentrated approach that complements the agency's current national campaign already running in U.S. markets. Promotion efforts raise awareness of Arizona as an exciting, warm-weather winter destination.

AOT collaborated with advertising firm Off Madison Ave on the concept, design and execution of the campaign, which will run through February 2016.

As Arizona’s only statewide marketing agency promoting the Grand Canyon State, AOT produces various year-round travel advertising campaigns promoting Arizona as a vibrant travel and tourism destination.

In 2014, more than 40 million visitors generated $20.9 billion throughout the state, injecting nearly $57 million each day into Arizona’s economy. The Arizona travel and tourism industry generates revenue in all 15 Arizona counties, and is responsible for producing $2.8 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues, representing a $1,150 tax break per Arizona household.

Additionally, the Arizona tourism industry employs more than 171,500 Arizona residents. Combined with the secondary employment that is generated, nearly 300,000 Arizona residents are financially impacted by this dynamic, statewide industry. For more industry research data, visit AOT's business site,  For information about Arizona travel experiences, see



About Arizona Office of Tourism
Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) is charged with enhancing the state’s economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion.  For information on AOT’s program of work, research and media plans, visit  For information about Arizona travel experiences, see