Under the umbrella brand Travel Oregon Forever, two new programs have been launched to develop tourism in Oregon while preserving and protecting its destinations.
The first initiative, Sustainable Business Challenge, encourages businesses to implement environmentally and socially responsible practices.
At the same time, the new Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund urges businesses and travelers to contribute to projects that enhance Oregon’s destinations.
Sustainable tourism is a growing market in Oregon. In 2009, nearly 85 percent of visitors considering travel to Oregon identified themselves as environmentally conscious. Nationwide, 44 percent of travelers considered environmental impact to be important when planning travel, and nearly one-third said they would pay a premium for green travel options.
“Since the bottle bill was passed in 1971, Oregon has been a leader in sustainable practices,” said Kristin Dahl, Travel Oregon’s manager for sustainable tourism development. “Those practices are now influencing travel decisions. With Travel Oregon Forever, we’re giving Oregon businesses a competitive advantage by showcasing their good efforts for this expanding travel demographic,” she said.