The Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau said Monday that studies it commissioned show its work generated $225 million in economic impact for Tucson and Southern Arizona in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The studies, done for the bureau by two outside agencies, showed its biggest contribution was the impact of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows and other conventions and meetings, at nearly $119 million, according to an emailed press release from the bureau.

Other components included leisure visitors at $62.7 million, sports events $37.6 million and TV and movie filming work, $5.9 million.

Those figures represent what the studies show the bureau brings to the economy through its responses to would-be visitor inquiries, promotion of the gem shows and other events including sports and work with film and TV producers.

Overall, the bureau says on its website,, tourism has a $2.39 billion impact on the economy in Pima County. That represents about 8 percent of the overall county economy.

The study was part of an effort to re-brand the bureau, the press release said. That will culminate in a bureau name change, to Visit Tucson, and new marketing materials.

Pima County officials were critical of the bureau in the last few years, questioning whether it was using governmental contributions appropriately and having an impact. At the time, governmental funding to the bureau was reduced from more than $10 million annually to the current $6.5 million, which bureau officials say is the second lowest for a regional tourism agency in the West.

Most of the agency's funding comes from local governmental entities via a hotel bed tax.