Changing Economic Realities
Monitor and adapt marketing initiatives and recognize changing economic realities.
Ensuring a healthy tourism industry is critical to Sedona’s wellbeing. While visitation occurs year-round, Sedona experiences peak, shoulder, and off-season levels of demand.
The destination is affected by changes in economic trends and natural events such as forest fires or flooding.
This tactic will refine marketing initiatives to recognize changing conditions, adapting to times when limited promotional efforts are warranted or when they are more essential. It is imperative to understand how marketing tools affect destination positioning. A mix of dynamic metrics will be considered in determining adaptive initiatives.
TIMEFRAME Short-term (12-18 months)
LEAD PARTNER SCC&TB
SUPPORTING PARTNERS City of Sedona, Sedona Lodging Council
ALIGNING RESEARCH Public Input, Industry Best Practices
TARGET / STATUS TO DATE
1. Track changes in demand and seasonality - ongoing
2. Track key performance indicators in need periods - will be reported on web page (Tax Collection, Occ, ADR)
PROGRESS TO DATE
Monitor/adapt marketing to changing economic realities as needed.
FY22: In June 2021, the City of Sedona Council reviewed and discussed a $2.1 Destination Recovery Plan developed by the SCC&TB and City of Sedona staff that pauses destination marketing activities, though retains a $250,000 contingency in the event changes are needed during the year. The strategic rationale is that the economic recovery of FY20 that saw a surge in visitation caused trash, congestion and other quality of life issues that may be in some fashion ameliorated by a pause in marketing.
Visitor education, always a priority, received extra attention in the third quarter as another amelioration tactic for the trash and trail depredation occurring during FY20. It is generally agreed that the visitors coming to Sedona in the post-pandemic period were atypical in that they were not educated in responsible interaction with the environment, a trend seen nationwide as post-pandemic travel set records for sheer number of travelers and placed unprecedented pressures on outdoor-focused destinations.
Phoenix – Sedona’s primary feeder market – continues to be America’s fastest growing metro area, placing many new people within easy access of Sedona.
Visitor education will be a key part of the SCC&TB contact with visitors in FY22 and beyond.
The City of Sedona Council and the SCC&TB met in February 2021 to begin strategic planning and budgeting for FY22 tourism management which, per Council policy, align with the pillars of the STP. Additional discussions will precede Council’s final vote on the plan and budget as part of FY22 City of Sedona budget adoption process.
FY 20: Following discussions in late FY19, Council adopted a policy of aligning annual destination services and marketing with Strategic Plan pillars and meeting quarterly to review marketing plans and disbursement of marketing funds.