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Visitors fill sidewalks along Hwy. 89A in Uptown each day of the year, browsing in shops, eating in restaurants and staying in hotels.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
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Visitors fill sidewalks along Hwy. 89A in Uptown each day of the year, browsing in shops, eating in restaurants and staying in hotels.

Each dollar spent by tourists in the city in turn supports Sedona’s very existence.

“Tourism is the basis of our local economy,” city of Sedona Economic Planner Jodie Filardo said.

To thank visitors and encourage more to come, Sedona Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 24th annual National Tourism Week, Saturday to Sunday, May 12 to 20.

Tourism generates 7,660 jobs and $9.9 million in revenue in Sedona, according to Jennifer Wesselhoff, incoming chamber president.

Of the top four sales tax revenue sources for the city, Filardo said, three are tourism based.

In March, sales tax collected for lodging, restaurants and bars and retail — areas tourists contribute to — exceeded $600,000, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Lodging generated $239,801 in sales tax, restaurants and bars generated $133,031 and retail generated $264,268.

From July 2006 to March 2007, lodging brought $2,353,607 in the city, restaurants and bars generated $1,179,824 and retail sales tax produced $2,559,181, ADR reported.

The three tax areas affected by tourists generated $6,092,612 of the total $9,914,591 — or approximately 61 percent — collected in sales tax from July through March.

On a larger scale, travelers impact the entire nation’s economy. Domestic and international tourists spent $699.9 billion on travel expenses in the United States in 2006, according to Travel Industry Association.

“Travel & Tourism: America’s front door,” the week’s theme, supports the industry by letting tourists know they are welcome all over the country, according to TIA, as they are welcome in Sedona.

Melanie Kay, a tourist from the Grand Canyon, said Tuesday, May 15, was the second time she visited Sedona. Kay came back because there is so much to see in Sedona and the city has great energy, Kay said.

“There’s always new stuff to see,” Kay said.

Kay brought a friend with her, Josiah Boyd, who is new to traveling. Boyd, who also lives at Grand Canyon, spend the first 18 years of his life in Colorado and didn’t leave often, he said.

Tuesday marked Boyd’s first visit to Sedona.

Kay and Boyd visited the chamber’s Visitor Center in Uptown and were welcomed by volunteers with hiking information and cookies letting them know Sedona wants them here.

 


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