Nestled in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the mountain resort community of Vail attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. In addition to being a world-class tourism destination, Vail is also a destination committed to enhancing environmental stewardship, economic development, and community well-being through sustainable tourism development.
In advance of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held in Vail and Beaver Creek, Sustainable Travel International designed a sustainable business training and certification program for the region. The program, branded “Actively Green,” is run by Walking Mountains Science Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. Through the trainings and certification process, Vail’s businesses gain a deeper understanding of sustainability best practices. More than 140 businesses have participated in the trainings, and there are currently over 50 certified businesses. As more businesses incorporate the sustainability practices into their day-to-day operations, a broader impact is felt across the region, characterized by improved resource efficiency and environmental conservation .
In addition to designing the Actively Green program, Sustainable Travel International is partnering with the Town of Vail and Walking Mountains to help Vail become the first certified sustainable tourism destination in the United States. In collaboration with the Vail tourism community, we are helping to define the first sustainable tourism standard focused specifically on mountain resort destinations. Not only will this standard encourage sustainability within the local region, it represents a powerful tool for enhancing tourism sustainability in other mountain resort destinations around the world.
For more information about our work in Vail, please contact Robert Chappell.