More British visitors will travel to Arizona

By | Category: Travel destinations

This isn’t a forecast by the state’s tourist authority, its mine but I’m pretty sure it will be accurate.

The Grand Canyon

Why?

Firstly because American Airlines will join BA in offering a direct flight to the state’s biggest city Phoenix and secondly because there are two major anniversaries being held in the state this year.

Just over a week ago, the Grand Canyon National Park turned 100 years old. It didn’t. Its status as a national park did. There can’t be many US attractions that are so widely known throughout the world as the Grand Canyon and this year’s celebrations will certainly attract more visitors not just British and Irish ones. Some might think it odd that the Grand Canyon wasn’t the first national park to be proclaimed in the US considering its popularity and worldwide appeal. Other national parks have been enjoying their centennial celebrations for a year or so. 

One service  that the park authorities have established and which is proving popular has been to open the park in the evenings. Arizona is home to 15 dark-sky communities and parks. These areas have taken significant measures to protect the night sky such as employing low-light emitting LEDs for public spaces. These evening openings have allowed visitors  and especially stargazer’s to enjoy the night sky in all its splendour since Arizona experiences comparatively little cloud cover compared to other states.

It is also the fiftieth anniversary of man’s landing on the moon and whilst you might think of Houston and mission control in Texas or Cape Canaveral in Florida, The Arizona city of Flagstaff played a vital role. It was here that all of the Apollo 11 astronauts were trained and the lunar landing module was tested at Sunset Crater, just outside of Flagstaff.

It is at the end of this month that American Airlines will launch its service from Heathrow and, initially, it will only run October 23rd but given the number of Britons who now winter in the state staying a couple of months, the flight may become a year-round service. This service alone might carry between 20,000 and 30,000 extra visitors to the state.

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