by Teri Drew, Regional Director, Northern Arizona Council of Governments
Something most people may not know is that for more than two decades the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) has been a strong partner in the planning, promotion and support of the tourism industry in Northern Arizona.
The NACOG Tourism Committee is a group of dedicated tourism professionals from all over the four-county region of Apache, Coconino, Navajo and Yavapai – from Prescott to Page and from the Grand Canyon to the beautiful White Mountains. The primary focus of the tourism committee is to develop and share best practices and to be a resource for destination- seekers and residents alike by “improving the quality of life and unique natural/cultural amenities as well as outdoor recreational opportunities that make Northern Arizona a great place to live and visit.”
To accomplish this task, the tourism committee has established three objectives to reach the target opportunities in tourism and experience:
Objective No. 1: Partner with state and regional tourism organizations to promote their marketing programs, training programs and events throughout the Economic Development District (EDD) (Editor’s note: The EDD consists of the four-county region of Apache, Coconino, Navajo and Yavapai and the 24 assessed communities within the district).
Objective No. 2: Serve as an informal resource for assistance to EDD communities regarding marketing/promotions and encourage regional joint marketing opportunities.
Objective No. 3: Continue to strengthen sub-regional tourism efforts through the sharing of best practices, promotion and product development.
Tourism is the second-largest industry in the state of Arizona, particularly in Northern Arizona – home to the Grand Canyon, five national forests, Lake Powell, Sedona’s red rocks, abundant hiking and camping venues, amazing golf courses, the World’s Oldest Rodeo® and so much more! Tourism is a major economic driver for Northern Arizona. Our own backyard is so rich with history and heritage – what a great place to live and work!
In October, the NACOG Economic Development Council Tourism Committee hosted a fall tourism forum in the beautiful setting of the White Mountains area of Pinetop-Lakeside. Nearly 70 attendees gathered at the Pinetop Country Club and heard from statewide and local tourism professionals. They networked with their fellow tourism business peers, city and county elected officials and leaders to discuss marketing techniques and tourism best practices.
We all benefit from tourism in our hometown, both personally and economically. When we support our local businesses and attend our local venues, we breathe life into the spirit and vitality of Prescott tourism, making it more attractive to the many visitors who grace our city. The city is better equipped to maintain safety and security through the revenues that tourism affords through the “bed tax.” Economic prosperity is the heartbeat of every community that swings the doors open wide to the legend and legacy of “tourism.”
I live here, and I intend to be a part of it!