Introducing New Tourism Practices


May 24, 2019


about-sedona-banner-image-red-rock-patriotHappy Memorial Day weekend! It’s shaping up to be gorgeous, and I hope you have plans to enjoy Sedona with friends and family and remember the service men and women who gave their all for our country.

As summer begins, we’ve primed our tourism budget to activate the Council-approved Sustainable Tourism Plan (STP) that so many Sedonans helped create. With the City of Sedona and our nonprofit partners, we are excited to be launching more than a dozen sustainability tactics when the fiscal year begins July 1, pending Council budget approval. A sampling from our to-do list:

• Expand ‘Leave No Trace’ principles
• Stabilize funding for trail maintenance
• Educate visitors to be sensitive guests
• Explore new parking facilities and reduce parking demand in high-use areas
• Use technology to communicate real-time traffic and trail conditions
• Develop sustainable visitor experiences, such as dark sky-themed events
• Enhance walkability to get people out of their cars and off the roadways
• Educate visitors about courteous Off-Highway Vehicle use
• Monitor and moderate helicopter noise
• Minimize disruption of Sedona in Motion projects

Each tactic arose from the desires Sedonans and visitors expressed in surveys, focus groups, open meetings and public hearings. The Chamber, the City and community groups aim to accomplish 30 tactics in 12-18 months, an excellent beginning to an ambitious, years-long community effort to organize change around the STP’s Four Pillars:

• Our Environment
• Our Quality of Life
• Quality of the Economy
• The Visitor Experience

For the first time, we built our tourism management budget around these Pillars so that FY20 expenditures advance one or more of the STP’s 17 objectives, such as:

• Launching initiatives that lessen tourism impacts to residents and the land
• Implementing new infrastructure and transit solutions to facilitate visitor traffic flows
• Developing new sustainability-focused experiences that appeal to visitors and residents
• Implementing new waste reduction and prevention strategies

You can see the draft FY20 budget and program of work; the most recent audit, the complete Sustainable Tourism Plan, with objectives and tactics, performance metrics and timelines as well as the community groups responsible for implementation, at We hope you get involved with the groups making it happen and look forward to bringing you news of steady progress in the months ahead.

Have a safe, relaxing holiday weekend!

–Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO