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PHOENIX -- Summers in Arizona might be hot, but that doesn't mean people should avoid touring the state during those months, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The Arizona Office of Tourism is beginning a new advertising campaign aimed at getting the word out that Arizona is home to many summer-friendly vacation destinations. For example, AOT Director Sherry Henry said the northern city of Page has many houseboating opportunities.

"The Grand Canyon, (is) always a great adventure," Henry continued. "You can go up this time of year to the north rim, which is even a higher elevation with probably the absolute best view of the canyon."

Henry said that Lake Havasu, with all its water activities, is a popular destination. She also said northern Arizona getaways in cities such as Sedona and Flagstaff are also good places to get out of the heat.

She added that southern Arizona offers some interesting destinations that can also give tourists some milder weather than in the greater Phoenix area.

"Traveling in southern Arizona has also added a lot of different opportunities now that we have so (many) wineries," Henry said. "You can use your time along the wine trails, (or) you can go down to Patagonia and the Tubac and Tucson area, or swing over in the Chiricahuas, or go into Wilcox and sample some of their wine."

Tourism is an important part of the Arizona economy, and Henry said her office wants to keep tourists coming to Arizona even during the offseason.

"We depend upon tourism as an economic driver," she said. "Our most recent statistics show that over 38 million people visited Arizona during a year and those folks spent over $19 billion."

Henry said part of the advertising campaign will be targeted toward luring people from southern California to Arizona, because 40 percent of Lake Havasu's visitors come from that area.

"We'll be in newspapers, we'll be in magazines, we'll be online and of course we'll be doing some outdoor digital billboards," Henry said.

The advertising campaign will run for three months and cost roughly $520,000. For more information about summer tourism in Arizona, visit SummerinAZ.com.

Mark Remillard,

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