Although other tourism numbers have been decreasing over the past two to three years, tourism numbers for the Grand Canyon Railway are actually going up. Jerry Thull, who is head of Public Relations for the GCR, said that tourism numbers are up by about seven percent compared to last year’s numbers at this time.
Thull said that the people riding the train these days are mostly American and there has been a decrease in foreign visitors. Phoenix and southern California, which have always been big markets for the GCR, are now bringing in more people than ever to ride the train.
“With the new trend of Americans staying closer to home, the Railway is the perfect vacation,” said Thull.
The GCR has always been an important staple for the Williams’ economy, bringing tourists to the town, as well as to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon, which has numbers available through the first six months, has also seen an increase of 1.43- percent park-wide. This comes at a time when visitors for the National Park Service as a whole has shown a 7.7 percent decrease.
Thull said that he expects the increase in visitors to continue. December, which is usually a slow time for businesses in the area, looks like it’s going to be a busy month for the train. This is mainly due to the Polar Express, which is already beginning to book up.