In 2021, visits to state and national parks located in Cochise County rebounded following steep COVID-related declines in 2020. The only exception both years was Coronado National Memorial, which saw an overall increase in visitors of 19.9% in 2020 before falling 16.9% in 2021.
Kartchner Caverns State Park (typically the most visited park in Cochise County) saw visits increase 26.5% in 2021, after falling 53.3% in 2020.
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park saw visitor counts grow by 43.9% in 2021 (after falling 45.8% in 2020).
Chiricahua National Monument visits were up by 19.2% in 2021 (after a 26.1% drop in 2020).
Fort Bowie National Historic Site visitors increased 43.7% (following a 14.8% decline in 2020).
IMPACT OF TOURISM & TRAVEL
According to research by Dean Runyan Associates for Arizona Office of Tourism, Cochise County's travel industry (including business and leisure travel) generated $337.8 million in direct spending countywide in 2021, up 63.4% following a 40.2% COVID-related drop in 2020. Travel-related direct spending in 2021 was at levels seen in 2018 and 2019, prior to the pandemic. Cochise County's travel industry supported 3,200 jobs countywide in 2021 (up 5.9% following a 13.6% decline the year prior) with household earnings of $89.6 million (up 9.6% after falling 8.6% in 2020), according to the study.
Visitor Counts (national & state parks) (2003-current) (pdf)
In 2021, the busiest stretch of highway in Cochise County was Interstate 10 between Mescal Rd and Skyline Rd, with an average annual daily traffic count (AADT) of 33,122 (up 17.9% following a 9.7% decline in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic). By 2040, daily traffic in both directions on this stretch of I-10 is projected to reach 54,610 (an increase of 21,488 vehicles or 64.9%).
Off the interstate, the busiest stretch of highway was State Route 92 in Sierra Vista, from Fry Blvd to East Foothills Dr, with an average of 26,562 vehicles daily (up 13% following an 8.8% drop in 2020). By 2040, daily traffic in both directions on this stretch of SR 92 is projected to reach 45,574 (an increase of 19,012 vehicles or 71.6%).