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Tourism Pays the Bills

Tourism Pays the Bills
September 06
11:20 2016

Tourism pays the bill according to Page Mayor Bill Diak.

The Honorable Mayor expounded on his tourism priorities in an interview just before the Labor Day weekend, stating that tourism is Page’s industry and we should take care of it. While sales tax revenue was $6 million in 2009, it is now about $12 million. Sometimes it is hard to see results of tourism promotion until Bed, Board and Booze taxes as well as general sales taxes are collected. Diak is pleased that the City of Page and the Page Chamber of Commerce are more active partners in promoting the tourism industry in Page.

While large entities like Lake Powell Resorts and Antelope Point do huge amounts of promotion for their businesses, neither contribute directly to Page sales taxes and they prefer visitors to stay on their properties. Small local businesses have difficulty reaching a wide audience. Carolene Ekis with Antelope Canyon Tours is great at promoting Page while she promotes her business both nationally and internationally. Diak credits Ekis with putting Page on the map for Asian tourists and applauds her investment of time and other resources in promoting Page. Many businesses in Page have not made the investment in promotion that Ekis makes.

Promoting tourism in Page is a tough game. Promotions must be kept fresh and regularly changed up to keep the public’s attention. Promotion now may not see results in visitation for two to three years. Page’s tourist season has dramatically expanded with land based tours that can be enjoyed through most of the year, not just the warm water portion of the year. Diak believes there is room to expand both the experiences offered and the seasons to take advantage of these experiences. He would like to see more ecotourism with hiking and kayaking.

Mayor Diak, recently reelected, has worked hard the last three years to put Northern Arizona on the tourist map. One strategy has been to be involved with the rest of the state and county. Bridges have been rebuilt with Coconino County and

Page is now active on County committees. In the absence of a tourism director, the Mayor has picked up some of those duties.

Recently the Mayor attended and helped out at a promotion booth at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference in Scottsdale. Page and area activities were promoted with a large photo backdrop of Horseshoe Bend.

Diak will continue to keep tourism on his priority list and the tourism industry will remain a high priority for everyone in Page.

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