The University of Arizona. The University of Arizona
Agricultural & Resource Economics
The Williams 1995–1996 Visitor Study

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Highlights below

The Williams 19951996 Visitor Study

by Julie Leones and Valerie Ralph1
Arizona Cooperative Extension
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
The University of Arizona

1 Dr. Julie Leones is an extension economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at The University of Arizona. Valerie Ralph is a research assistant and graduate student in the same department.


This study would not have been possible without the financial support of the national and state extension offices through the Communities in Economic Transition Project. The researchers thank Tom Kelley of the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce, Denise Ruhling of the City of Williams and members of the local tourism committee for their support. We also extend our many thanks to the business people who assisted in the distribution of the surveys. We would also like to express our many thanks to Linda Taber who provided the graphic design and layout of this report.

I. Highlights

  • Visitors to the Williams area spent $37 million in and around Williams in fiscal 1995–96.
  • These visitor expenditures created $20 million in income and 1,033 jobs.
  • Total economic impacts of visitors to Williams resulted in 1,339 jobs and $30 million in total income impacts in Coconino County.
  • Visitors contributed much of the $244,876 collected by the City of Williams in hotel, restaurant and bar taxes.
  • Visitors are most likely to be in the City of Williams between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • Almost 60 percent of all visitors come to the Williams area during the summer season (May through October).
  • Twenty-eight percent of all visitor parties include at least one member with foreign citizenship and 22 percent of all visitor parties consist of visitors with international addresses.
  • Thirty-six percent of all visitors are retired.
  • Eighty-two percent of all visitor parties to Williams indicated that seeing the Grand Canyon is one of their most important reasons for visiting Williams.
  • Twenty-six percent of all visitor parties rode the train to the Grand Canyon.
  • Thirty-four percent of all visitor parties visited the train station in Williams.
  • Twenty-six percent of all visitor parties visited historic downtown Williams.
  • Winter visitors consist of a higher percentage of visitors over the age of 60, a lower percentage of children and a higher percentage of visitors with interest in historical sites and museums. Winter visitors are more likely to visit other Arizona destinations (particularly Phoenix) than are summer visitors.
  • Summer visitors include larger numbers and percentage of outdoor recreation enthusiasts. More children are included among summer visitors. Summer visitors' total trip lengths are shorter than winter visitors' but they tend to stay 16 hours longer on average in the Williams area.
  • Among the five types of visitors identified in the study, historic and international visitors make the largest per person per day expenditures in Williams. However, outdoor recreation visitors tend to spend the most time in the area.