Cotton-candy sunsets. Starry desert skies. Towering saguaro cacti. At Experience Scottsdale, we want everyone to witness the wonders of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert and experience our unique blend of luxury, relaxation and adventure.
That’s why in recent years, both Experience Scottsdale and the city of Scottsdale have taken intentional steps to ensure everyone feels welcome here.
Experience Scottsdale’s mission is to promote the Scottsdale area as a luxury destination for meetings, events and leisure travel. In doing so, we invite people from all over the country and world to visit and meet in Scottsdale.
The team at Experience Scottsdale supports the Black, Asian American Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, and other communities and movements to spotlight and eradicate longstanding, systemic racism, discrimination, exclusion and injustice in our country.
Like much of the nation, our community is not free from discrimination and inequality. Yet people of all races, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, abilities, ages, backgrounds and experiences not only visit Scottsdale but also call Scottsdale home. They include our employees, colleagues, neighbors, family members and friends. Experience Scottsdale is fully committed to listening, learning and advocating so that marginalized groups are respected and represented within our community and so that all people, no matter their differences, feel safe and welcome in Scottsdale.
Experience Scottsdale proudly promotes Scottsdale. We proudly celebrate the diversity of our community members and visitors. And we proudly commit to seeking a more inclusive and equitable future for our organization and community.
In the summer of 2020, protesters took to the streets across the country, including in Scottsdale. The national conversation around race shed light on the importance of cultivating a diverse, inclusive and equitable tourism industry. In response, Experience Scottsdale formed a staff-led Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advocacy (IDEA) Committee to instill those values into the fabric of our organization. We hired a local DEI consultant to work in tandem with the IDEA Committee and further these efforts, providing marketing assessments, leadership support, and training for our staff, board of directors and members.
Internally, Experience Scottsdale has engaged our team on discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion. The IDEA Committee provides educational materials and coordinates speakers to help inform and inspire our staff. We also have adjusted our hiring and recruiting practices to tap a more diverse candidate pool.
We have made changes with our marketing, partnering with photographers and videographers to capture diverse perspectives that are more reflective of our visitors for our website, social media channels and marketing campaigns. We’ve published stories on our website to highlight unique voices in our community. And to ensure people of all abilities can easily access our content, we have added an accessibility tool that customizes browsing experiences on both the mobile and desktop versions of ExperienceScottsdale.com.
Externally, we have become more vocal in our support of social justice with the hope that our community embraces meaningful and sustainable change. Our president and CEO signed Destinations Internationals’ Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CEO Pledge and Allyship Letter. We took the Equality & Fairness For All Americans Pledge to continue to advance non-discrimination protections, as well as voiced our unequivocal support for Scottsdale’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which passed in April 2021.
We have expanded our business connections to include the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, OneCommunity and the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism. Such partnerships have allowed us to diversify our client base as well.
Experience Scottsdale recognizes that the steps we have taken since 2020 have been long overdue. This is only the beginning of our journey, and there is still more work to be done. Experience Scottsdale is committed to continuing down this path so that our organization, brand and community embrace and welcome all.
Here in Scottsdale, you can support restaurants, bars, shops, spas and art galleries owned and operated by people who identify as women, people of color and LGBTQ+. You can tour attractions and institutions that celebrate cultures and histories like Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, Heard Museum and Musical Instrument Museum. You can attend annual events like the Arizona Indian Festival, the Scottsdale Jazz Festival, the Juneteenth Celebration and the Rainbows Festival.
Beyond offering such opportunities and experiences, Scottsdale is committed to fair treatment of residents, visitors and employees in the community. In April 2021, the Scottsdale City Council adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The ordinance provides a clear and comprehensive mandate for the prevention of discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, and city services, programs and activities.
The anti-discrimination ordinance was championed by the city’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Human Relations Commission, an advisory body for the mayor and council. Following its passage, Scottsdale received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index.