FILE - Grand Canyon National Park Tourism Spending

In this Jan. 1, 2019 file photo, tourists look at and take photos of a snow-covered Grand Canyon, in Arizona. A new report from the National Park Service says areas surrounding the Grand Canyon benefited last year from millions of tourism dollars. Grand Canyon National Park officials say the report found the 6.3 million people who visited in 2018 spent $947 million in communities near the park.

The state of Arizona collected more than $1 billion in tax revenue from tourism spending in 2018.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office said that the $1.1 billion in tax revenue collected is a record for the state. Tourists spent $24.4 billion total in Arizona last year.

“Tourism continues to thrive in Arizona, and that benefits every resident in every part of the state,” Ducey said. “Not only does this $24 billion industry provide more opportunities for small business and more jobs for Arizonans, tourism revenues generate more dollars to invest in the things that matter most to Arizonans like education and public safety.”

Arizona welcomed a record 45.4 million overnight visitors to the state in 2018, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism. The number is up from the 43.9 million tourists who visited in 2017.

The state tourism office also said the tourism industry creates 192,300 jobs earning $7.4 billion total in the state.

Grand Canyon National Park in the northern part of Arizona welcomed 6.3 million visitors in 2018, accounting for $947 million spent in local economies near the park, the National Park Service said.

Grand Canyon National Park was the second most visited national park in the country last year, according to the NPS.

Arizona’s economy saw a 2.8 percent gain in employment – the second-largest percentage gain in the country – from 2018 to 2019.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.