By Steve Segner – –
Sedona, AZ — We agree with the new city DMMO (Destination Management & Marketing Organization) plans to encourage a targeted audience of upscale travelers who will spend several nights in Sedona. But first, let’s look at the numbers – the “facts!”
The Sedona Lodging Council is surveying many of the hotels and resorts in Sedona to identify where their overnight customers are coming from. So far, the survey of hotels shows that at least 50 to 60 percent of our overnight visitors come by car from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Of that, about 40% come from Maricopa County.
Phoenix alone has some of the wealthiest cities in America; Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Litchfield, Park, Queen Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Carefree, and Goodyear, to name a few. Southern California has even more.
All of these locations are within a two to eight-hour drive to Sedona.
East Coast travelers are welcome and essential to the local market but visitors who travel by plane and rental car are less likely to visit as often as visitors from drive markets like Phoenix and California.
Visitation frequency is a significant factor. Once visitors stay in a Sedona hotel, they are subject to the hotel’s regular marketing and are much more likely to visit more often than a flying visitor.
The city has talked about “targeted marketing.” Think of it as a bull’s eye target, the center being the target; that is where your marketing is most effective. The concentric rings further from the center, the return on your marketing investments falls off significantly. Whether or not we want to admit it, Maricopa County is the center of the “Bulls Eye” for Sedona.
Common sense tells us to “fish where the fish are.” Phoenix and Southern California are the most accessible places for visitors to entice a visit to Sedona annually or yearly.
Driving two hours for a two or three-night stay from Phoenix is an easy decision and the most “green way” to travel.
It’s essential to maintain a balanced approach. While targeting nearby markets is a valuable strategy, Sedona can still benefit from attracting visitors from other regions and promoting sustainable practices, such as eco-friendly transportation options and responsible tourism practices, to minimize the environmental impact of tourism.
By strategically marketing Sedona as an accessible and attractive destination for Maricopa County and Southern California residents, you can potentially support our tourism needs to support our tourism economy while aligning with sustainability principles.