- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Tourism officials say 2014 was a record-breaking year for travel to the state.

The Arizona Republic reports (https://bit.ly/1FyMuUZ) the state set new tourism records in 2014 with about 4 percent more people staying overnight and spending about $20.9 billion.

Almost half of the 40.7 million visitors to the state last year stayed in the Phoenix area, while the Grand Canyon attracted 8 million tourists to northern Arizona.

The Arizona Office of Tourism released the data Monday in its annual report based on research by Dean Runyon Associates.

The report attributes about $1.5 million in local and state taxes to the tourism industry, as well as more than 171,000 jobs.

Tourism office Executive Director Sherry Henry says she expects the Super Bowl and other high-profile events in 2015 to attract even more tourists.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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