By Rachel Sacco, President and CEO, Experience Scottsdale
Why does travel matter? It’s a question our industry is answering during this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week, May 5 to May 11. Because both in Scottsdale and across the country, travel matters to our personal well-being and quality of life.
Many of us in Arizona moved here from somewhere else. And many of us first came to Scottsdale as visitors. People like Winfield Scott, Frank Lloyd Wright and Paul Gallagher all traveled to the Scottsdale area as visitors.
In Scott’s case, the area inspired him upon his visit in 1888. He later founded the quaint agricultural community that became Scottsdale. In the 1930s, Wright became perhaps the original snowbird, a winter visitor who built his home in the Sonoran Desert, thus putting Scottsdale on the map for creative minds. Gallagher traveled frequently to the area before moving his business, Motorola, to Scottsdale and diversifying the city’s economy in the 1950s. And I would be remiss not to mention the numerous contributions made by Gallagher’s wife, Virginia G. Piper.
We hear stories like this constantly. People who travel to Scottsdale for vacation and fall hopelessly in love with this desert city. I, myself, lived in Scottsdale as a young child. I still remember eating sundaes at the Sugar Bowl with my family. Years later, those memories brought me back to Arizona as I left Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend Arizona State University. I never looked back.
Think back to what first brought you to this place. Was it a family vacation? Were you traveling here for a business meeting or conference? Did you come for an event like Spring Training or Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction?
Now think about what made you decide to call this city home. Perhaps it was the pristine trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the wellness culture in a city with more spas per capita than anywhere else in the country or the world-class arts and culture, from the galleries in Old Town to the museums like Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
Each day, we pass attractions, restaurants, golf courses and resorts. Throughout the year, our calendars are filled with special events and festivals. These amenities have become so ingrained in our lives, so common place, that at times we forget that so much of them wouldn’t exist without Scottsdale’s thriving tourism industry.
Because people travel here and spend their money here, investors have built hotels and resorts. Chefs have opened restaurants. Golf courses have been renovated. And homes have been purchased.
Travel matters because it may have brought you here in the first place. It matters because it supports the community and sustains our quality of life. Travel helped make Scottsdale what it is – a beautiful place, a welcoming community and a world-class destination.
Editor’s note: Rachel Sacco is the president and CEO of Experience Scottsdale, which establishes Scottsdale as a year-round, luxury travel destination.