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Arizona tourism industry working to appeal to women

PHOENIX -- Arizona's travel industry is doing more to appeal to female travelers.

One reason is that when it comes to planning a trip, women usually make the decisions.

"We know that 80 percent of all travel decisions are made by women," said Stephanie Dembowski with Triple-A of Arizona.

Dembowski said more women are traveling without a man.

"It can be either women leaving their husbands at home, women wanting to leave their husbands and kids at home, single women or women who are just looking to make new friends," she said. "It really varies."

Dembowski said that, many times, women are taking the initiative and booking a trip to where their men "just don't want to go."

Hotels and travel companies are taking note. For example, Hyatt hotels is now offering "Hyatt for Her" at several European locations. It offers rooms with special hair products and amenities for women.

Triple-A has a women-only travel group called "Today's Traveling Women" that is offering seven trips in the next year.

"One is going to the southern part of the country," said Dembowski. "Another is going to the U.K. Gardens, which will explore the gardens of the United Kingdom. There's one to Alaska. There's a river cruise along the Rhine River in France and Germany. There's also a trip to Spain."

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About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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