Tourism Season is Here: Look to Tourism Associations for Green-Friendly Trip Planning

Tourist season is (almost) upon us here in little Rhody. When the hot weather arrives, so will (hopefully) beach-goers and vacationers looking for an affordable, convenient Northeast location (a mere 3 hour drive from NYC, 1.5 from Boston, and easily accessible by plane, train or automobile) here in South County to dish some much-needed green stuff back into local businesses. For a region that is graced with so much natural beauty, which the tourism industry subsequently depends on, I’m amazed that there is not more of a local push through our tourism association to protect our natural resources by encouraging sustainable practices. With that being said, before you book your summer getaway, check out these other resources who are well on their way in helping the eco-conscious plan for their (business and pleasure) getaways…Good news – the RI Hospitality & Tourism Association, in partnership with the RI Department of Environmental Management, have taken baby steps through the introduction of the RI Hospitality Green Certification Program. This self-certification program helps businesses within the hospitality and tourism industry attain green performance standards like energy and water conservation (if you’ve never worked in a restaurant, believe me, this is a HUGE feat!), waste minimization, recycling (finally!), and other sustainable operating practices. If you are planning a visit to RI, check out the (currently small, but hopefully growing) list of certified restaurants and hotels (members of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau).

For a quick day trip (consider the hour+ drive quality time with the family) see our neighbor city to the North’s green tourism program. Boston Green Tourism is still in fledgling stages, but America’s Walking City is working hard to establish Boston as “a preeminent destination for environmentally-minded visitors by complementing the area’s beauty, natural resources, and outdoor recreation opportunities”. They’ve assembled a quick hit list of green-friendly hotels and restaurants and other resources for tourists and convention visitors here.

And of course, if you need any delicious recommendations, just ask.


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