Virginia Honors Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary with 75 New "Virginia Green" Travel Partners
– Tourism industry answers the challenge to achieve 75 more Virginia Green certified hotels, restaurants and attractions –
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Virginia Green program has added 75 new participating tourism businesses in just over a month to honor the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The new additions were in response to a challenge issued by the Virginia Tourism Corporation on August 3rd to achieve 75 more partners by September 10th.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, known as "America's Favorite Drive," meanders 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Governor McDonnell was a keynote speaker at the Parkway's official 75th anniversary celebration today at Cumberland Knob, located on the Parkway's Virginia/North Carolina border.
"The Blue Ridge Parkway demonstrates the importance of conservation," said Governor McDonnell. "The Virginia Green program honors that spirit by encouraging conservation through improved environmental practices in the tourism industry. As we celebrate 75 years of the Blue Ridge Parkway, I am pleased by our ongoing efforts to ensure our natural assets are here for future generations to enjoy."
Virginia Green is a statewide partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Hospitality Travel Association that promotes environmentally friendly practices for tourism businesses such as lodging, restaurants, attractions and others. Virginia Green helps tourism sites minimize environmental impacts and also save money through reduced cost for waste generation, and energy and water use. Currently there are nearly 800 Virginia Green certified participants statewide.
Tourism businesses earn Virginia Green certification by voluntarily committing to recycle and reduce waste, reduce water and energy consumption, and use eco-friendly products. Virginia Green participants 'self-certify' that they are meeting the program's core requirements which are posted on the Virginia Green website on each business' Virginia Green profile. The program actively encourages consumer feedback to ensure that Virginia Green facilities live up to their commitments.
A list of the 75 new Virginia Green partners can be found at www.virginiagreentravel.org, along with a complete listing of Virginia Green Certified lodging properties, restaurants, attractions and more. The site also has convenient links to Virginia State Parks, outdoor adventure programs, the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, eco-friendly events, green getaways and travel tips. Or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.
Tourism generates $19.2 billion in revenue for Virginia each year, supports 210,000 jobs and provides $1.28 billion in state and local taxes for communities.
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