Earlier this month, the U.S. Travel Association issued its monthly Travel Data Report which showed both promise and peril for our tourism industry. On the plus side, the report showed a 3% growth in travel spending, the first such increase since the start of the pandemic. Another positive was that 28% of travelers plan to spend significantly more on travel this summer, reflecting the pent-up demand caused by travel restrictions.
However, nearly six in 10 American travelers (59%) say rising gas prices will impact their decision to travel in the next six months.
An earlier poll by Bank of America had similar results. Conducted in March, this survey found that 62% of the 1,055 respondents plan to travel more than usual, but 41% said higher gas prices might derail those plans, with 28% saying they might make fewer or shorter trips to offset higher cost.
This is where the rich array of festivals we have in northern Arizona might be helpful. In addition to cooler temperatures and the beauty of our region, these festivals also give visitors (particularly in-state tourists) an event to anchor their trip and an added incentive to hit the road, despite higher fuel cost.
Here’s just a small sample of the festivals and events coming up this month that will help bring visitors (and their dollars) to our region.
- Flagstaff Blues & Brews (tomorrow and Saturday, June 11). In just a few short years, this event has grown to become the state’s largest blues festival. Two days of terrific music, plus local and regional microbrews, as well as wine and hard cider. Food vendors and arts and craft tents round out the event, returning this year to the grounds of Continental Country Club.
- Made in the Shade Festival (Saturday, June 11) – Another popular festival that features music and scores of different brands of beer. Proceeds from this day-long festival at the Pepsi Amphitheater go towards helping Sun Sounds of Arizona provide reading and information access services to those with disabilities.
- Pride in the Pines (Saturday, June 18) – For more than 20 years, Pride in the Pines has been a party with a purpose, a celebration of the LGBTQ2S community that promotes cultural diversity and human rights for all by fighting discrimination of any kind. This year’s headliners are Brita Filter from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Grammy-nominated Latin artist Gina Chavez.
- Flagstaff Folk Festival (Saturday, June 18 & Sunday, June 19) – The Museum Club will showcase the best in folk and acoustic music with more than 70 acts on two stages.
The events continue into July with the Standing Horse Route 66 Powwow on July 2 and 3 at the Winslow Multipurpose Field in Winslow; Corn Fest on July 16 on Hollamon Street in Camp Verde, the annual Celtic Festival at Fort Tuthill on July 16 & 17; and the Sedona Hummingbird Festival from July 29 – 31.
We hope to see you at one or more of these events, as we enjoy the festivals and events that are key to our tourism sector.