New program to promote sustainable travel in Oklahoma

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: September 30, 2009 at 5:57 am •  Published: September 30, 2009
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The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has unveiled a new program with the state Department of Environmental Quality aimed at promoting sustainable travel.

"Sustainable tourism looks at the environment, the economics and the cultural role that tourism plays,” Executive Director Hardy Watkins said.

"Our goal is to infuse sustainable practices into Oklahoma’s travel industry not for the sake of trendiness, but for the greater good of our industry and state,” he said.

The Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma program includes education, green certification and marketing support for tourism industry partners, helping them embrace sustainable travel practices for minimum economic impact with maximum return, officials said.

"Today’s travelers demand sustainable practices and we aim to help the tourism industry make these changes without sacrificing the quality of service or experience,” Watkins said.

Seven businesses and organizations are part of the program to start, including Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City’s Colcord Hotel and Keystone State Park in Sand Springs.

Others are Maple Place Bed and Breakfast in Enid, Oklahoma Tourism Information Center in Blackwell, Polo Grill in Tulsa and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.