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NEWS
Virginia Announces New Green Travel Website
April 23, 2008

Virginia’s state tourism office recently launched VirginiaGreenTravel.org, a new Web site dedicated to environmentally friendly travel in Virginia. The new travel site supports Virginia Green, a partnership between the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that promotes environmentally friendly practices in Virginia’s tourism industry.

VirginiaGreenTravel.org will serve as a gateway to the state’s certified green tourism businesses including more than 140 lodging facilities as well as restaurants, attractions and more. The new site also has convenient links to Virginia state parks, outdoor adventure programs, the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, eco-friendly events and travel tips. Virginia debuted the site in advance of Earth Day at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Center in Virginia Beach, a local leader in the state’s Virginia Green program.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) manages Virginia Green. The program awards Virginia Green Certification to tourism-related business such as hotels, restaurants and attractions taking voluntary actions to reduce harmful impacts on the environment. Certified businesses commit to waste-reducing activities such as recycling, optional linen service, water and energy conservation, green cleaning, purchasing environmentally friendly products and other steps that help reduce harmful environmental effects.

Virginia Green launched in pilot phase in 2006, with DEQ working with the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to educate businesses such as hotels, inns and B&Bs about the benefits of green practices. Since that time the program has grown to 140 lodging facilities, 23 restaurants, 20 conference centers, two convention centers and six attractions, including the Virginia Aquarium, making it the first Virginia Green attraction in the Hampton Roads region and one of only six in the state.

DEQ plans to expand Virginia Green to include wineries, golf courses and Virginia’s welcome centers and rest areas. Virginia’s two new welcome centers, in Fredericksburg and Clear Brook, are LEED certified.


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