Updated: Aug 13, 2020
The Arizona Office of Tourism and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have forged a partnership to promote sustainable tourism practices across Arizona’s spectacular landscapes and unique destinations, which are enjoyed by millions of residents and visitors every year. The new agreement makes Arizona the second state in the U.S. to form a partnership with Leave No Trace.
People form lasting connections with nature when they understand how to protect it, according to Leave No Trace research. The partnership will build a program that ensures both visitors and residents are equipped with Leave No Trace environmental and sustainability information and skills to use when they enjoy Arizona’s iconic natural features.
Leave No Trace research also shows the ideal opportunity for influencing visitors’ attitudes and behaviors around sustainable tourism practices occurs during the trip planning phase. Through this partnership, AOT and Leave No Trace will work to provide Arizona-specific sustainable tourism guidelines to in-state and out-of-state travelers before they arrive and during their stay in Arizona.
"It is a natural fit for the Arizona Office of Tourism to partner with a premier responsible tourism organization like Leave No Trace," said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "We're both dedicated to ensuring the health and longevity of all the destinations and natural features that make our state spectacular and attract millions of visitors each year."
“Leave No Trace looks forward to working alongside the Arizona Office of Tourism to ensure that all visitors to the state of Arizona are informed on how to protect the vital natural resources,” according to Dana Watts, executive director of the Leave No Trace Center. “Our partnership is an important step towards greater awareness of and enthusiasm to care for Arizona lands for visitors and locals alike.”
AOT is also working to incorporate Leave No Trace principles into the everyday operations of the agency. As the partnership develops, the Leave No Trace Center and AOT will collaborate on further outreach, implementation and training of sustainable tourism messaging statewide.
Photos Courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism, Sirena Dufault and An Pham