Sedona’s Destination Management Organization
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
July 22, 2022
At the Chamber, we are all about member support, helping more than 700 local business owners realize their dreams, support their families and keep Sedona thriving. In a recent survey, almost 80% of our partners expressed satisfaction with their membership. More than three out of four said our networking opportunities, business counseling, websites and publications, and local communications such as newsletters, social media, ads and columns are important to their business. We’re happy they’re happy, and we are working harder than ever to be a valuable resource for our dynamic local businesses.
As you probably know, we also serve as Sedona’s Destination Management Organization, working in partnership with the City of Sedona to manage Sedona’s $1 billion+ tourism industry, our largest economic sector. Working together, we have agreed on tourism management goals for the new fiscal year, with funding provided under the terms of our management contract, the source being city-mandated bed taxes paid by the Sedona lodging industry.
The FY23 goals reflect the shift toward mitigating tourism’s impact – balancing our lifestyle, environment, economy and visitor experience:
Goal: Encourage positive visitor behavior. We agree to pursue an ambitious program to educate visitors about recreating responsibly and respecting Red Rock Country.
Goal: Lessen the density of visitors at busy locations. To reduce the strain on crowded areas, we will work together on strategies to move visitors to less-visited attractions.
Goal : Assist in preserving Sedona’s natural resources. We will create environmental stewardship opportunities for visitors, businesses and nonprofits.
Goal: Help ensure future economic health. We will continue executing long-term strategies to capture future business and tax revenue, for example, working with meeting planners.
Goal: Ease neighborhood burdens and support our workforce. We will rally the business community to support the Verde Shuttle – making transportation for workers and prospective workers simpler. We will continue in-market communications encouraging visitors to take the Sedona Shuttle (including the trailhead service) and upcoming micro transit – mitigating traffic congestion.
Goal: Engage further with the short-term rental (STR) sector. Engaging with STR owners pertains to neighborhood disruption issues, achieving balance in our lodging industry, and getting owners on board with sustainability efforts.
On 6/29, the Council supported a Chamber-proposed budget of $1,586,211. During discussion, the Council added $84,000 for digital geofencing (for local sustainability-oriented messaging to those visitors already in market) and to support concierge communication with visitors, bringing the total to $1,670,211.
In the proposed FY23 Destination Management Plan, we saw a balanced Sedona emerging, as envisioned in the 2019 Sustainable Tourism Plan. The question about what that balance looks like often arises. Balance can be elusive, but, we will continue to work with our stakeholders towards it. We are striving to be a responsible Destination Management Organization as well as a Chamber of Commerce.
–Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau