The Importance of Tourism – Four Key Business Plan Questions to Answer


Dear M & M:

How important is tourism to this area and my business?


Dear Jacob:

In Arizona the Arizona Office of tourism reported that in 2012 direct spending of tourists was $19 Billion, which is about $53 million a day being spent throughout the state. You can travel in any of the cities or towns in Arizona and clearly see that tourism is one business that they all have in common.  From transportation to hospitality to retail many businesses are affected. In 2012 travel accounted for 161,300 industries related jobs. It is estimated another 300,000 jobs exist because of secondary employment generated because of direct travel spending. Tourism continues to be one of our top export related industries to market globally. According to research conducted by Dean Runyon Associates for the Arizona Office of Tourism, direct travel related spending in Cochise County in 2011 was $330.4 million. This includes all travel‐related activity and includes both business and leisure travel. In Cochise County that includes military and Department of Defense civilian and contractor personnel on temporary duty to Fort Huachuca for training, attendance at conferences, or other military or defense‐related activities. It also includes other government travel unrelated to the fort, such as border protection. Visits from Mexico, including day shopping trips, are also included. The largest share of spending by travelers to Cochise County is in the food and beverage services industry, which accounts for nearly a quarter of all spending. This spending totaled $79.2 million in 2011. The second largest category of spending by travelers to Cochise County is retail sales, which accounted for nearly 18 percent of the total at $58.2 million. Spending for local ground transportation, including rental car fees and motor fuel, was the third largest category of expenditures by travelers in 2011 at $56 million or 17 percent of total travel‐related spending.



Dear M & M:

Can you tell me four key questions I need to answer in my business plan?

– Debbie

Dear Debbie:

It is very hard to answer what four questions would be the most important to your business plan as each business plan is as unique as each business. You business plan should be written for a purpose (loan to finance a new piece of equipment, determine feasibility of start-up, introduction of new product line, or maybe to see if a second location would work). With that being said here are four areas or questions you should be able to answer in any situation that sometimes is hard to pick out when reading a business plan. Remember to be clear and concise; 1). One line description of your company: What do you do? 2). Financial mode: What are your expected sales and how much revenue do you need to cover all expenses? 3) Risk mitigation milestones: Events that when complete will make you more likely to succeed with dates attached. 4). Why are you uniquely qualified to succeed? Obviously there are many more questions than just these four to answer. Get to the bone as soon as you can. Make it clear and concise with attention to detail without repetition allowing the reader and yourself to make a solid decision based on factual information that is relevant. Remember the saying, “If I would have spent more time on this it wouldn’t have been so long”.



To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation (EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email


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