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RVers spent $664 million while visiting Arizona campgrounds and RV parks from May 2003 to April 2004, according to a university study commissioned by the Arizona Office of Tourism and the Arizona Travel Parks Association (ATPA).
“We like what the bottom line told us,” said ATPA President Jo Ann Mickleson, co-owner of J&H RV Park in Flagstaff. “The RV business in Arizona impacts the economy more than people realized.
“We wanted to convince the state that the hotel and motel association isn’t the only viable accommodations association in Arizona.”
The $13,000 survey by Northern Arizona University’s Arizona Hospitality Research & Resources Center was completed by 1,209 campers who answered questions about where they spent their time and how they spent their money.
Among the survey’s findings:
* 91% of visitors had been to Arizona before, and, on average, had spent 105 days on the road during the year and 74 days in Arizona.
* Visitors stayed an average of 67 days at the parks where they received the survey.
* RVers spent an average of $42 a day at their RV site.
* The most common reason people came to Arizona was for leisure travel and recreation (32%) followed by the weather (23%).
* The average coach was occupied by a couple, with only 7% traveling with children.
* 35% considered themselves to be seasonal RVers, camping from three to six months during the year.
* Sightseeing (75%), shopping (56%) and wildlife/bird watching (43%) were cited as the top three activities by visitors.
* RVers averaged 64.3 years in age.
* Two-thirds traveled to Arizona in their own RVs.