RICHMOND, VA. – In celebration of Earth Day, the Virginia Green Travel Alliance is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Virginia Green Travel Star & Leader Awards. These awards are presented annually to Virginia’s greenest tourism operators and partners for their outstanding commitments to sustainability and contributions to green tourism in Virginia. The awards will be “presented virtually” in conjunction with the Virginia Green Travel Conference & Awards that will be held on April 28 & 29, 2021.

This year, fifteen (15) Virginia tourism operations were chosen to receive the Virginia Green program’s highest award, the Virginia Green Travel Star Award. Eleven (11) additional tourism businesses are being recognized with the Virginia Green Travel Leader Award for their continued commitments to environmental stewardship, and six (6) individuals are receiving the Green Team All-Star Award for their efforts to lead their organizations’ green program efforts. Additionally, voting for the inaugural Virginia Green Travel People’s Choice Awards are still underway through April 28th, and those winners will be announced at the conference on April 29th.

Each of the award winners is listed below, and summary slides about their individual efforts can be found on the 2021 Virginia Green Travel Awards website.

“2020 was an incredibly challenging year for us all in the tourism industry”, said Jack Berry, the CEO of Richmond Region Tourism and the Board Chairman of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. “It is exciting to have the chance to recognize these Virginia Green Travel Partners for their continued commitments to excellence and to sustainable tourism practices. Moving forward, sustainable tourism will be an integral part of our industry’s recovery.”  

The Virginia Green program is supported through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program encourages green practices in all sectors of Virginia’s tourism industry. More than 1,200 businesses and partner organizations have voluntarily certified their green business practices through the Virginia Green program.

The 2021 Virginia Green Travel Star Award winners are:

  • Green Hotel of the Year                                 Hilton Downtown Richmond
  • Green Attraction of the Year                          Birdsong Pleasure Garden, Luray
  • Green Conference Center of the Year           Chesapeake Conference Center
  • Green Event of the Year                                 The Virginia Living Museum Oyster Roast
  • Green Dining Service of the Year                  JMU’s East Campus Dining Hall
  • Green Tours of the Year                                 Shored Up LLC, Hampton
  • Green Supplier of the Year                             Babylon Micro-Farms, Inc., Richmond
  • Green Transportation Facility of the Year      RVATukTuk, Richmond
  • Green Inn of the Year                                     The Red Lantern Inn, Clifton Forge
  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     Croc’s 19th Street Bistro Native Plants Garden,

Virginia Beach

  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     DuCard Vineyards, Sipping for Saplings, Etlan
  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     Powhatan State Park, Paper Waste Reduction
  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center E-

ticketing, education & waste reduction, Virginia Beach

  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     Awesome Oysters LLC, Plastic waste reduction &

solar battery charging, Village

  • Most Innovative Green Projects                     Virginia Living Museum, Green Teens

 

The 2021 Virginia Green Travel Leader Award winners are:

  • RVA Environmental Film Festival
  • Hampton Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront North
  • Back INN Time B&B, Kilmarnock
  • Shady Acres Bed and Breakfast LLC, Hanover
  • Pathosans, Sanitizing installation with the Virginia Railway Express, Alexandria
  • Westmoreland State Park, Pollinator Garden
  • Nauticus, Plastic or Planet? Exhibit, Norfolk
  • Oak Grove Plantation B&B, Sustainable Renovation of the Little House, South Boston
  • The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Bumble Bee Garden, Newport News
  • Hampton Inn Manassas, Pollinator Garden
  • Natural Bridge State Park, Environmental Education Area

The 2021 Green Team All-Star Award winners are:

  • Travis Land, Virginia Living Museum
  • Suzanne Moss, The Nature Bus, Virginia Beach
  • Karen Riddle, Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray
  • Jenny Elmes, full circle catering, Lexington
  • Deck Hankins, Go Green Distributors
  • Phil Irwin, Caledonia Farm 1812, Flint Hill

 

If you would like more information about the awards, please contact Tom Griffin of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance at (804) 986-9119 or Virginiagreenta@gmail.com .

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