April 22, 2021 Sedona's sustainability achievements are reaching new heights on Earth Day as the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) joins the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), adding Red Rock Country to destinations around the world committed to sustainable tourism.
“Sedona is a special place, and we at the GSTC are proud and pleased to provide any support we can to strengthen its journey to finding and applying ever more sustainable forms of tourism planning and activities,” GSTC CEO Randy Durband said. “Applying the GSTC Criteria to a destination’s plans and practices means to take a holistic approach to sustainability, relating not just to environmental protections but also social, economic, and cultural aspects of the community and its visitor attractions.”
The GSTC was created jointly by UN agencies and prominent international organizations to develop global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism – the GSTC Criteria. Being a GSTC member means actively participating in GSTC’s global network, contributing to the important work of the GSTC in promoting the widespread adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. GSTC Members are active drivers for sustainability in travel and tourism.
GSTC's 2016 destination assessment of Sedona led to the creation of the Sedona Sustainable Tourism Plan, an Arizona first. Led by the SCC&TB in partnership with the City of Sedona, Nichols Tourism Group, Arizona State University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism, and approved by the Sedona City Council, the Plan commits Sedona to balancing a thriving tourism economy and amazing visitor experiences with environment stewardship and resident quality of life.
"As a global destination committed to long-term sustainability, it makes sense for Sedona to be part of the GSTC,” said SCC&TB President/CEO Candace Carr Strauss. “Sedona joins New Zealand, Switzerland, Athens, Greece and Valencia, Spain as a new member. In addition to gaining access to cutting edge research and tourism management policies, Sedona joins the GSTC in advocating adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles, something we really believe in,” Strauss added.
This announcement coincides with the forthcoming opening of Ambiente, a Landscape Hotel that is one of Sedona’s most innovative sustainable lodging options, set to open late 2021.
“Ambiente is North America’s first Landscape Hotel,” said Ambiente owner Jennifer May, co-founder of Two Sister Bosses. “In building our 40 guest atriums, we focused on preserving the existing, heavily vegetated forest and having minimal impact on the land. Ambiente is a new experience for travelers that is in harmony with Sedona’s commitment to offer sustainable destinations.”
Ambiente features 40 individual cube-shaped guest atriums on 3.1 acres of rolling terrain. Each atrium is elevated on steel piers, eliminating the need for grading, and minimizing damage to delicate plant life. Atriums are hand placed and angled for a perfect fit with the land, vegetation and drainage. Guests will enjoy spectacular views while walking on designated permeable pathways or riding valet-operated electric carts, e-bikes or micro enclosed electric vehicles. Ambiente is also in the process of reactivating the land’s ancient waterway system to bring permanently flowing water to the property, creating a natural eco-system that complements the terrain.
Renowned chef and Northern Arizona icon Lisa Dahl of Dahl Restaurants Group will lead Alchemy, the property’s onsite restaurant, featuring a dozen dishes that highlight locally grown and sourced ingredients from the Verde Valley.
“Ambiente is a visionary project, absolutely unique,” Strauss said. “It will offer an unforgettable Sedona experience for visitors, a place attuned to the land and our sustainability ethos. We look forward to adding this new jewel to Sedona, and welcoming Ambiente as a beacon for visitors from all over and a shining example for the hospitality industry nationwide.”