Episode 223:

Jennifer Wesselhoff is the President & CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau (Chamber/Bureau). She has served in the position since October 2020.

The Park City Chamber/Bureau is responsible for the marketing and management of Utah’s preeminent luxury tourism destination, driving revenues in excess of $1 billion annually. Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival, the nation’s largest independent film event. The town’s two ski resorts served as major event sites for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the Utah Olympic Park continues to attract Olympians to Park City for high-altitude training. The town also is the headquarters for the US Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA). Park City hosts ski and snowboarding world championships on an annual basis and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has selected Utah for its next Winter Olympic bid in 2030. More than two million skiers hit the local slopes each year at both Park City Mountain, featuring the nation’s largest ski terrain, and Deer Valley Resort, consistently rated amongst the top ski resorts in North America. In summer months, more than one million visitors flock to Park City for hiking, blue-ribbon fly-fishing and biking on its 400-mile trail system.

Prior to arriving in Park City, Jennifer was CEO/President of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, which she joined in 2007. During her tenure, she led Sedona, Arizona to national recognition as a destination. Jennifer guided the Sedona Chamber’s accreditation as a Destination Management Organization, led the development of Arizona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan, and saw tourism grow to become Sedona’s largest industry, with a $1 billion annual impact and 10,000 tourism-related jobs. She most recently represented the region on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force. Jennifer developed and launched successful brand strategies for Sedona, including the “Sedona, the Most Beautiful Place on Earth” campaign and the “Find Your Room to Play” campaign.

Jennifer is a Certified Destination Management Executive with Destination Marketing Association International and is a frequent speaker and consultant on sustainable tourism best practices. She was the former Sedona Certified Film Commissioner with the Association of Film Commissioners International.

Before joining the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, Jennifer taught English in Japan and spent three years in the hospitality industry in Interlaken, Switzerland. She is conversant in three foreign languages and holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When Jennifer and her husband Rick are not running, biking and hiking, they enjoy cooking and traveling with friends.

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Wesselhoff, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau. On our podcast, Jennifer shares her passion for sustainable tourism and talks about the steps you can take to implement it in your own community. She teaches us what DMOs can do to better communicate with their communities and grow the destination organically. And she also explains how the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism for years to come.

What You Will Learn:

  • Jennifer’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • Jennifer’s passion for sustainable tourism and the steps you can take to implement it in your own community
  • How to balance the four pillars of sustainable tourism
  • Why DMOs need to put more focus on communicating with their residents and local communities
  • How the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism
  • Attracting quality vs. quantity when it comes to visitors

The Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Wesselhoff, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau. On our podcast, Jennifer shares her passion for sustainable tourism and talks about the steps you can take to implement it in your own community. She teaches us what DMOs can do to better communicate with their communities and grow the destination organically. And she also explains how the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism for years to come.

Becoming a Leader in the Pandemic

Jennifer started her journey in Park City in October of 2020—an interesting time to say the least. Starting a new position, with new people, in a new organization is enough to test any leader, let alone when it is taking place in a remote work environment. Jennifer, however, brings a ton of experience to the table, and she was able to find her stride quickly through the use of creativity and collaboration. Her passion for sustainable tourism has helped her develop those skills day in and day out, and it is a concept we can all benefit from exploring in our own organizations and communities.

The Four Pillars of Community

Jennifer defines sustainable tourism as a way to balance the four pillars of the community, and it lifts up everyone who is apart of it. The pillars are: creating and retaining a vibrant economy, the visitor experience, impact on quality of life, and protecting the environment. While Jennifer always took a data-driven approach to destination marketing, the four pillars of community helped her reshape the lens with which she looked at the data. It gave her a new perspective for addressing unique challenges within the community, and it provided her with an opportunity to partner with other organizations and businesses in the region to solve those challenges. Sustainable tourism is something any destination can adopt to transform the core principles of the community, and there is so much to gain from it.

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