Sustainable Tourism Plan | Visit Sedona

Sustainable Tourism Plan

Sedona’s stunningly beautiful landscapes are “equal or superior to many national parks,” according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.  Conde Nast Traveler and the New York Times rate Sedona as a top destination.  Almost all our 3 million annual visitors say they plan to return.

But concerns about being “loved to death” prompted Sedonans to undertake an extraordinary journey: the development of Arizona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan.  An 18-month community conversation culminated in unanimous City Council approval of the Plan in 2019. 

The Four Pillars of Sustainability

The Sedona Sustainable Tourism Plan (STP) identifies four pillars for a balanced future.

We hold ourselves accountable by specifying 63 tactics and timelines; community groups, nonprofits, businesses and governments all work together to achieve them.

Doing Your Part

Tourism is the most significant stressor on our environment and quality of life. As a visitor, you are essential to making  - and keeping - Sedona sustainable.  Please do your part to assure that Sedona will remain unspoiled and welcoming for generations to come.  

Before your arrival, take the Sedona Cares Pledge and commit to following the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. The Pledge and Principles include packing out trash, leaving nature as you find it, being courteous to others, honoring natural silence, respecting Sedona’s neighborhoods, staying on trails, and more.  Doing your part is not difficult and makes a large contribution to our preservation efforts, allowing you to show your appreciation for the magnificent natural tableau of Red Rock Country.

Follow Our Results

Every three months, we publicly update STP progress, arranged by pillar, posting the specific actions taken toward achieving each tactic.

A few highlights:

Fly Friendly  In 2020, helicopter tour operators cased overflights within Sedona city limits and over neighborhoods, sensitive prehistoric sites and resorts.  This respect for quiet and Sedona’s delicate historic and prehistoric artifacts improves the visitor experience and our residents’ quality of life.

Transportation Improvements  In 2020, the City of Sedona completed Uptown traffic improvements, making vehicle and pedestrian flow more efficient, easing congestion and contributing to the area’s aesthetic appeal. In 2021 and 2022, a pedestrian underpass, a connector linking uptown and West Sedona, and an ambitious transit plan will continue our progress on traffic reduction.

Sustainability Certification  More than 100 Sedona businesses have achieved ‘certified sustainable’ status from the Sustainability Alliance. From onsite glass recycling to high-tech energy conservation, their stories are inspiring.  

Water Refill & EV Stations, Straw Free Sedona  Five water refill stations in high-traffic areas have eliminated tens of thousands of plastic bottles from the waste stream, and six electric vehicle charging stations make Sedona more EV friendly.  More than 40 restaurants participate in ‘Straw Free Sedona,’ eliminating plastic straws and serving paper straws only on request.

Governor’s Award  In 2019, the Sustainable Tourism Plan and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau were honored with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Arizona Historical and Cultural Preservation. The award recognizes “…significant contributions to the …preservation of the natural…legacy of Arizona.”

Let us be the first to welcome you to Sedona! We are so glad you are here.  Please enjoy a visit that many people say is a life-changing experience, and join us in unity and love for our home, the ‘Most Beautiful Place on Earth.’

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