Sedona has sustainability at heart


Sedona, a small desert town in the centre of Arizona, is promoting ‘shoulder season’ travel as part of its Sedona Sustainable Tourism Plan.

Marketed as ‘The Most Beautiful Place on Earth’, Sedona’s Red Rock walls, surrounding national park and close proximity to the Grand Canyon attract three million visitors a year – a number that almost doubles its 10,000 population every day.

In order to mitigate the impacts of overtourism, The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is highlighting the destination’s year-round appeal, with a particular focus on summer and winter travel.

“The sunsets during our monsoon season in summer are spectacular,” says Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO of Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. “From July through August the cloud cover and bursts of rain creates a spectrum of colour like you’ve never seen before. It inspires creativity and spirituality.”

In the video link here Jennifer explains how important it is to continue marketing Sedona through Visit USA activities to ensure that that the destination is at the forefront of consumer and trade minds once the current travel ban has been lifted.

Watch the full video here


Jennifer adds: “Unlike the Grand Canyon, visitors can venture deep into the red rock area that surrounds Sedona and immerse themselves, and without that needing a great amount of physical activity. Often, you can access the beauty just off the road and hike for miles without the crowds.”

The Sedona Sustainability Plan consists of four key pillars: Environment, Resident quality of life, Quality of the economy and Visitor experience. It aims to lead the tourism industry in implementing sustainability principles, positioning Sedona as a leader in destination stewardship.

Agents can find more information at:

Online escapes to the USA

Opportunities for travel might be temporarily shutdown but that doesn’t mean your clients’ interest in and curiosity about USA holidays have been mothballed.

Online escapes

In fact, there’s never been a better time to discover the USA, its spectacular natural wonders, extraordinary natural phenomena, action-packed cities, iconic road trips… and much more…from the comfort of your own home.

Visit USA’s website features a whole range of inspiring features, travel ideas and blogs designed to keep the wide range of U.S. travel options front of mind.

For example, discover the rainbow hot spring, an extraordinary rainbow-coloured Grand Prismatic pool in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, that is the third largest spring in the world. Rings of orange, yellow and green radiate out from the deep blue in the centre; the colours created by a multitude of bacteria that are adapted to different temperatures and pH.

Then visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, one if the world’s undisputed natural wonders. From the comfort of home experience its vast landscape by joining a river archaeology Grand Canyon National Park VR tour.

Or for a flyover perspective, enjoy a virtual and interactive Maverick Helicopter flight, taking in the Grand Canyon from the sky.

In California Joshua Tree National Park is so unique that it inspired the title of a U2 album! Learn how two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together to offer a variety of plants and animals, dark night skies and surreal geologic features.

Experience the USA via virtual escapism here

Hit the high notes at home

New to the Blog section of Visit USA’s website is a two-part series charting some of the sounds and cities inextricably linked to America’s deep-rooted and diverse musical heritage.


Live concerts and festivals might currently be off limits but there are still plenty of ways to experience the best of American music - from your sofa.

Destinations across the USA have created online concerts, gigs, lessons and playlists to help you immerse yourself in their culture and lifestyle and Visit USA has broken some of these virtual US music experiences into two must-read articles.

In Nashville, America’s original ‘Music City’, artists are streaming performances from their homes and iconic venues in the city are streaming audience-free concerts. The blog provides a link called ‘See who's playing next’

Also learn American music by tuning into the collection of interviews, interesting stories, and more on the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum YouTube Channel.

Meanwhile, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is streaming virtual concerts every Saturday with the world’s longest running radio show broadcast without an audience.

The Great Lakes state of Michigan has created an ‘ambient music album’ called‘Pure Sounds of Michigan’. It takes listeners on a virtual listening tour through a compilation of 10 soothing soundscapes created in honour of the 100th anniversary of Michigan State Parks celebration. It was composed using sounds of nature - from gentle streams to rolling waves and indigenous birds - captured from 10 Michigan State Parks.

Minnesota is home to icons like Prince, Bob Dylan and current favourites like Trampled By Turtles, The Replacements and Lizzo. See Amazing sounds of the USA to discover from your sofa – Part#2 for details of how to stream the Meet Minneapolis’ latest playlist or some upbeat tunes.

And if it is classical or opera that is your preference, the state of Utah is offering concerts from the Utah Symphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah and Utah Opera online and gigs from the Excellence in the Community concert series that are being live-streamed on Facebook.

Discover the amazing sounds of the USA here

Discover more amazing sounds of the USA here

Travel agents can spice up their lockdown cooking with some genuine Kansas and Oklahoma BBQ sauce

Kansas and Oklahoma

The first 20 agents to view the video link attached to this story and to email with the words ‘Delicious BBQ in Kansas and Oklahoma’ will be sent a large bottle of the sauce - which is the perfect accompaniment to burgers, chicken, ribs and pork butt. Or just use it as dip for chips!

Says Lisa Weight, Program Director at Kansas/Oklahoma Travel and Tourism: “Americans share a love affair with comfort foods, and Kansas and Oklahoma have the history of doing it right - not so fast, but, oh so good!

“When we all begin to travel again, local mom-and pop joints will continue to craft fried onion burgers, extra crispy finger lickin' fried chicken, succulent fork-tender steak, slow-cooked BBQ meats, home-style fried pies, and farm to table deliciousness.”

“And travellers will find BBQ Joints that serve mouth-watering specialties. All are delicious!

“Must-visit ‘food checklists’ include house specialties at Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Burn Co BBQ in Tulsa, Limestone in Lawrence, or Smokin Joes Rib Ranch in Davis.

“Include the onion burger at Sid’s Diner in El Reno, a cinnamon roll at Neighbors Cafe' in McPherson, and the blue plate special at Old Mill Tasty Shop in Wichita.

“Order a craft waffle sandwich at Waffle Champion in Oklahoma City, the Okie Burger at Hank’s in Tulsa, the baked fudge at The Pink House in Claremore, and the succulent ‘cooked to perfection’ ribeye steak at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse Oklahoma City."

In the video Lisa explains how the two-state partners are active members of Visit USA association and how important it is a this particular time to be part of an organisation that is engaging with both the trade and consumers interested in a future U.S. holiday.

She also explains how Kansas and Oklahoma, located in the heart of the country, offer visitors a glimpse of the beating heart of the country, with a wealth of "real and authentic experiences”.

Both destinations have a strong western and ranching heritage – with both professional and ‘working rodeos’ held on most weekends during the summer.

Oklahoma, with its 39 different tribes, has a very strong Native American culture and history that visitors can tap into through a series of annual events, festivals and pow wows.

And then there is Route 66, which, with 400 miles running through Oklahoma alone, Lisa suggests should be experienced on two separate visits.

Watch the full video here


For more on Kansas and Oklahoma see the states’ new virtual experiences at: