Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11, named National “Eco-Tourism” Week in Flagstaff. At 7,000 feet, there is an expectation for responsible use of the epic beauty surrounding this mountain and college town offering an abundance of social and green tourism opportunities. Let’s recognize the value of tourism in our community that improves our quality of life from parks to jobs to tax savings. Tourism’s positive impact on the local Flagstaff economy supports an estimated 8,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $500 million. Discover Flagstaff and all of the businesses in Flagstaff that provide services and support for our visitors are committed to providing exceptional experiences to educate, inspire and motivate travel to our beautiful city.
An eco-tourism campaign, launched by Discover Flagstaff (formerly the Flagstaff CVB), encourages responsible visitation to our beautiful mountain city. Eco-tourism is any form of tourism that focuses on traveling to natural environments with a mission to learn about and ultimately help protect those environments. Flagstaff is a destination for visitors to experience an adventure, offering the cleanest mountain air within the World’s largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest and in the World’s First International Dark Sky City. USAToday.com placed Flagstaff in a worldwide list of the 10 best places to avoid noise, light and air pollution. Eco-friendly Flagstaff is for those who choose to travel in a way that shows respect to nature and does not contribute to its degradation.
Eco-Tourism Flagstaff Facts:
- The American Lung Association named Flagstaff a Cleanest U.S. City for year-round particle pollution.
- Awarded by the International Dark-Sky Association in 2001, the City of Flagstaff became the World’s First International Dark Sky City.
- Flagstaff City Council sustainability goals include residential and business programs for water conservation, recycling, waste removal, regional transportation and development.
- 56 miles of city maintained urban trails traverse in a city-wide network for non-motorized, shared used-pathways for bicyclists, walkers, hikers and runners in the world’s largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest.
Flagstaff’s tourism partners are proactive making great efforts toward environmentally friendly options. For example, the Drury Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites and Greentree Inn all focus on policies and procedures to ensure sustainable actions. Flagstaff restaurants such as Shift Kitchen and Bar, Criollo Latin Kitchen and Brix stepped up to the trend and adopted sustainable practices. Did you know that The Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collection Center showcases a living roof with planted native vegetation reducing energy consumption that also extends the life of the roofing? Additionally, the 17,000-square-foot building exceeds the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED). Learn more about sustainable tourism in Flagstaff at discoverflagstaff.com/flgecotourism.
Nationally, travel impacts business productivity and individual travelers’ well-being. Travel to and within the U.S. provides significant economic benefits for the nation, generating more than $2.5 trillion in economic output in 2018 across all U.S. industries. Tax revenue from travel spending for federal, state and local governments totaled $171 billion in 2018. One of the best performing U.S. exports largely flew under the radar: inbound travel, which generates $69 billion trade surplus for America’s economy. Travel supported 15.7 million American jobs in 2018 – that’s one in 10 American jobs, making travel the seventh largest employer in the private sector. Travel is a pillar of economic growth, creating jobs at a faster rate than other areas.
Tourism revenue collected in Flagstaff, specifically the Bed, Board and Beverage (BBB) tax of 2%, directly and positively impacts the quality of your life by affording you and your family beautiful parks, public art, open space as well as arts and sciences education programing for students. In FY18, BBB tax collection increased 8.47 percent. The CVB receives a 30% BBB allocation to promote Flagstaff as a premier travel destination through marketing, direct sales efforts and media relations while providing exceptional service at our Visitor Center. Tourism provides economic stability to the community and annual real tax savings of approximately $1,200 per household.
As part of National Travel and Tourism Week, join Discover Flagstaff for a Tourism Service Day, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, at 323 W. Aspen Ave for downtown litter removal followed by a provided lunch. Contact Carrie Nelson at email@example.com to RSVP. FBN
By Meg Roederer
Meg Roederer is the communications specialist with the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau.