AOT recognizes industry leaders

The Arizona Office of Tourism recognized industry leaders across the state that go above and beyond in attracting visitors to state at the Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala. 

“There are so many individuals, businesses and communities around the state that help elevate Arizona’s travel brand, and the Governor’s Tourism Awards gives us a chance to recognize the best of their efforts. Every winner has done something—big things, innovative things, long-term things- to make Arizona a better place to visit,” said Debbie Johnson, Arizona Office of Tourism executive director.  

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau received the Outstanding Arizona Culture and Historic Preservation award for its Sedona Tourism Sustainability Plan.  

“The national trend in tourism promotion is for destination-marketing organizations to also embrace destination-management responsibilities. In Arizona, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is the vanguard of that trend,” Johnson said. 

“The bureau’s Sustainable Tourism Plan is ambitious and forward-thinking, and it has one guiding principle above all: to preserve the character that sets Sedona apart from every other city in the world,” she said.

The plan focuses on the environment, residents’ quality of life, economy and visitor experience. It aligns with the award, which recognizes cultural and historic preservation of Arizona that draws visitors to the state.

“That is precisely what we did in creating a plan balancing our one-of-a-kind environment and quality of life with respect for our economy and an understanding that travelers are here for a special experience.  We aim to inspire visitors to stay longer, spend more, get to know us and value our environment” said Jennifer Wesselhoff, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau president and CEO. 

The City of Surprise received the Outstanding Marketing Campaign– specific to a rural community- award for its ‘Find Your Surprise’ campaign. 

“The ultimate goal of the ‘Find Your Surprise’ marketing campaign is to brand Surprise as a tourism destination and create a positive economic impact for our city,” said Kendra Pettis, City of Surprise sports and tourism director. 

“As the 10th largest city in Arizona we have a lot of offerings for our visitors to enjoy, from Spring Training games, a world-class tennis facility and amazing golf courses, to some of the best restaurants that you’ll only find in Surprise.” 

The marketing campaign highlights the city’s attractions through its website: 

The Phoenician received the Outstanding Marketing Campaign– for an urban community- award for its ‘Fire & Ice’ campaign.

“Just like Arizona, The Phoenician is an iconic destination.  By staying true to our name and heritage – the mythical Phoenix that rises from the fire & ash – we were able to brand the summer resort season in a way that no one else could, creating a ‘cool’ and captivating offer for locals and visitors alike,” said Denise Seomin, director of public relations and marketing communications of The Phoenician. 

The Phoenician is a Luxury Collection Resort located in Scottsdale.

The Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala was held last month at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa as part of the 2019 Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism. 

The other award winners include:

  • Outstanding Tourism Partnership (Rural) – Flagstaff Lunar Legacy
  • Outstanding Tourism Partnership (Urban) – Milwaukee Brewers and Grand Canyon University
  • Tourism Spirit of Service (Individual) – Bob Lutes
  • Tourism Spirit of Service (Group) – Arizona Outback Adventures
  •  Tourism Hall of Fame – Jody Harwood, Grace Hospitality

Sierra Ciaramella

Add comment

Subscribe to the Dry Heat

Get updates on the most important news delivered right to your email. Fully personalized options. No SPAM. Unsubscribe anytime.

Sign Me Up!

Let’s Get Social

Chamber Business News wants to connect with you. Follow us, tweet, share, post, comment... however you get social is the perfect way to connect.