Sedona Drafts Sustainable Tourism Plan

By Chloe Jones
Published: Monday, January 21, 2019 - 5:05am
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Arizona State University has one of the only two centers for sustainable tourism in the country. Jennifer Wesselhoff is president and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, and she says ASU’s center helped identify issues to address in a new sustainable tourism plan.

“They completed the survey mechanisms for us. There were actually three different surveys that they did for us. There was a residents survey, a business survey and also a visitors survey. So we’re lucky to have the ASU Center for Sustainable Tourism right here in our backyard.”

Wesselhoff says the plan addresses four main issues: the environment, economy, quality of life and the visitor experience. Sedona is in the final stages of drafting this five-year plan.

She says the plan is unique because it integrates all four issues rather than addressing each one individually.

“What we’ve learned is that it has to be a dynamic mix of tactics and actions that lead to responsible tourism. It can’t be done in a vacuum. It has to be integrated.”

Sixty-three tactics are proposed under the plan. Those include expanding on a straw-free Sedona initiative, adding more places to refill reusable water bottles, and encouraging visitors to leave no trace. Wesselhoff  says they hope to begin implementing the plan next fiscal year.

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