Arizona Office of Tourism Designates 2022 as 'Year of AZ Discovery'

Kicks off Jan. 25 - National Plan for Vacation Day


PHOENIX (Jan. 25, 2022) — Heading into the new year, Americans’ enthusiasm for travel has reached a pandemic high point, with “having fun” edging out “relaxing” as the top vacation priority, according to recent poll data. Travelers also said they will focus primarily on spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature and visiting new places in 2022.

To help connect Arizonans and visitors with the amazing destinations and experiences they seek, the Arizona Office of Tourism has chosen today, Jan. 25, National Plan for Vacation Day, to designate 2022 as the Year of AZ Discovery.

“Arizona offers so many options to get outdoors and discover new places with family and friends,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “Planning now with our Year of AZ Discovery ideas gives you that perfect getaway to look forward to.”

With visiting the outdoors and finding new destinations so popular, the Year of AZ Discovery provides monthly travel and trip ideas while also educating travelers on responsible and sustainable tourism practices through AOT’s AppreciateAZ program.

For example, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to enjoy the snow in Arizona’s high country. The Year of AZ Discovery offers suggestions for mountain fun while encouraging travelers to familiarize themselves with AppreciateAZ Principle #1, Plan Ahead and Prepare. Additional trip suggestions will focus on Arizona makers, craftspeople and the state’s unique destinations.

“It’s a really special way to get out and experience Arizona while also helping to preserve this place that we all love so much,” Johnson said.

Why plan a trip on National Plan for Vacation Day?

  • Americans are ready to travel and have fun: 78% of Americans identified themselves as being in a “ready-to-travel” state of mind in a poll by Destination Analysts conducted at the end of December.
    • The majority (75%) identified “having fun” as their highest-priority vacation activity, followed by “relaxing” at 69%.
  • Planning now means you’re more likely to go: More than half (56%) of Americans who typically planned their time off took an overnight vacation in 2021 compared to 33% of non-planners.
    • Only 25% of Americans used all of their earned vacation time in 2021.
  • Planning/anticipating a vacation makes you happy: 74% of planners reported being extremely or very happy anticipating and planning vacations in the next year versus just 40% of non-planners.
  • Vacations are good for you: 79% of Americans believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being.


Media Contact: Josh Coddington, (480) 438-4700, [email protected]

About the Arizona Office of Tourism: The Arizona Office of Tourism works to strengthen and grow Arizona's economy through travel and tourism promotion, positioning Arizona as the leading tourism destination for domestic and international travelers. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism employed almost 200,000 Arizonans and contributed over $3.5 billion in tax revenue to our federal, state and local economies.