Chamber Presents New Sustainable Tourism Plan to Council

June 11, 2018

Sedona’s popularity as a must-see destination has grown as global tourism expands. People everywhere love to travel and have new, meaningful experiences.

At the Chamber, tourism supports a healthy economy but also means traffic. As you know, our geography and other factors present no easy solutions. An influx of visitors also means reevaluating the region’s approach to managing tourism for the long term.

balloon-fish-eyeSedona recognizes these challenges, and the Chamber is very much involved. Traffic problems resulted in a community-wide conversation that included many of our partners, concluding in a City Council-endorsed traffic improvement plan that breaks ground in just a few months. That’s a start.

On Tuesday, June 12 starting at 4:30pm, Jennifer Wesselhoff will go before Council to keep this conversation moving.  With the support of our Board, the Chamber will respectfully decline a scheduled 11 percent increase in the Tourism Bureau budget for FY19, and we will ask Council to consider using that $268,900 to help pay for transportation improvements. Wesselhoff will also announce that we are not marketing Sedona inside Arizona this summer, due to the connection between our in-state day trippers and increased traffic.

This won’t make traffic disappear tomorrow, but I hope it sets the stage for Sedona’s more significant challenge:  finding a balance that preserves our quality of life and enhances environmental stewardship while sustaining our tourism-supported economy, jobs, and families.

Sedona needs to have this conversation, and the Chamber is taking action and sparking dialogue.  In partnership with the City and the ASU School of Sustainability, we are readying a Sustainable Tourism Plan, due this fall.   Researchers from ASU are talking with businesses, studying our tourism patterns and interviewing residents.

We expect the finished Plan will offer exciting new ideas in transportation alternatives and raising visitor environmental awareness. It will be Sedona’s first big step toward achieving balance, but it will only be the first step.

We invite you to be part of the solution and offer your energy and ideas as we move forward.  The community needs engaged business owners and residents as part of the ongoing evolution of Sedona as a town that values our visitors, respects our residents and preserves our beautiful environment.

We hope to see you on June 12 at the City Council Chamber.

Contact Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO
board@sedonachamber.com or call 928.204.1123

 

If you missed it: here is a link to the recorded City Council Session.