July 21, 2009

Williamsburg Promotes "GREEN" to Tourism Industry

Combine good environmental practice with a unique marketing opportunity

The City of Williamsburg, Virginia, has joined forces with MBA students from the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary to encourage local businesses in the hospitality industry to be certified Virginia Green by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Beginning this week (7-20-09), the students are mailing letters and contacting businesses individually to help them understand the value of going green and provide assistance in the application process. “With the current economy, we want to do everything we can to assist our local businesses to be as successful as possible,” said Michele Mixner DeWitt, Economic Development Director for the City of Williamsburg. “More and more travelers are choosing environmentally friendly businesses when they plan their trips, and we want our businesses to be the ones they choose. We’re very excited to be able to partner with interns from the Mason School of Business, who are bringing their expertise, time and enthusiasm to this project.”

Virginia Green is a statewide program to reduce the environmental impacts of Virginia’s tourism industry. The program awards VirginiaGreen Certification to tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and attractions taking voluntary actions to reduce harmful impacts on the environment.

The first certified restaurant in Williamsburg to be Virginia Green is Aberdeen Barn. Photo Caption: L-R: J.C. Morton, Manager of Aberdeen Barn; MicheleMixner DeWitt, Economic Development Director; Brendan Pevarski, MBACandidate 2010; Yosuke Kobayashi, MBA Candidate 2010

The first certified hotel was Williamsburg Hospitality House.

The current outreach includes contact information for recycling and other services to assist businesses wanting to go green. For more information: Michele Mixner DeWitt, 757.220.6120, mdewitt@williamsburgva.gov