Via havasunews.com Arizona continues to thrive as a destination for tourists nationwide, according to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association. Last week, the association released its 2017 state-by-state report on America’s outdoor recreation economy, which supports 7.6 million jobs and generates $887 billion in consumer spending nationwide. In Arizona, Lake Havasu City has seen growth as a tourist destination, leading Mohave County in its appeal to visitors year-round. “Lake Havasu City is Arizona’s West-Coast playground,” said Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau Event Marketing Director Jackie Leatherman. “Most of that is outdoors – with our lakes, our concerts and events – we are an outdoor community year-round.” According to Leatherman, Havasu is attracting a more diverse crowd of travelers than before, from eventgoers to college students, seniors and food-enthusiasts. “Part of why we have the most visited state park in Arizona isn’t just the bridge, but the beauty of Havasu,” Leatherman said. “Where else could you get our water, our red rock mountains and our trees? Arizona as a whole is amazing, period.” Havasu’s natural beauty has been a boon to surrounding Mohave County, as the county continues to grow in popularity among national and international travelers each year. According to a 2016 report from the Arizona Office of Tourism, Mohave County has seen steady earnings, tax revenue and spending in its travel and hospitality industries as Northwest Arizona realizes its place as an attractive tourist destination. Tourism spending in Mohave County rose by 42 percent, while earnings from the region’s tourism industry increased by 49 percent from 1998 to 2016. Mohave County’s tourism industries, including accommodations, food service, recreation, retail and travel industries, generated a total of $164.8 million in 2016 alone. According to the Arizona Outdoor Association’s report, Arizona garners $21.2 billion per year in consumer spending, while providing 201,000 direct jobs. Arizona’s outdoor industry generates $1.4 billion annually, and more Arizona jobs are dependent on outdoor recreation than the aerospace, defense and technology sectors, combined, the report says. According to the report, Arizona residents are more likely to engage in outdoor recreation such as day-hiking and off-roading than average Americans, with 59 percent of Arizona residents participating in outdoor recreation each year. A full copy of the report can be found on the Outdoor Association’s website, https://outdoorindustry.org/advocacy/ We just hired a $100,000 with perks CVB CEO, so where, pray tell are his comments for this article? Why isn’t he providing “his” unique inputs from his worldly experiences to shed some light on the reasoning for this areas increased tourism other than the mundane statements about weekend boaters and snowbirds who will soon be packing the bags and RV’s for their extended stays. The previous CVB character, before his mysterious departure was never bashful in spinning eloquent yarns about his magnificent feats in the world of attracting visitors.