Monday, October 15, 2007

Minnesota Tourism is Going Green

The Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT), the state's official tourism agency, is developing an environmentally friendly tourism program. A task force composed of representatives from both private and public tourism and environmental organizations are putting together "guidelines" for the state's tourism industry. It is expected that these guidelines will be voluntary, however, EMT will promote businesses that comply with these guidelines as environmentally friendly.

The action by EMT is a result of legislation enacted by last year's State Legislature. John Edman's EMT Director is committed to positioning the state's tourism industry as a leader in the nation as an environmentally friendly tourism State. It is expected that the Task Force's work will be completed by the end of this year and EMT will then proceed with implementing an environmentally friendly travel program.

The Task Force consist of Randy Gutzmann; Ted Young, Gunflint Trail Association; Hank Todd, Carlson Company; Peter Hark, Minnesota DNR; Kate Fernholz; Dave Siegel, Hospitality Minnesota; Kevin Matzek, Hospitality Minnesota; Representative Kate Knuth, Minnesota House of Representatives; Maureen Scallen, Pam Thorsen Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association; Bill Droessler; Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber; Tom Ossell, Orion Resort Sales; Jan Joannides, Renewing the Countryside; Senator Mary Olson, Minnesota State Senate; Senator Satveer Chaudhary, Minnesota State Senate; Shannon Mann, Sugar Lake Lodge; Dorothy Anderson, Ph.D.University of Minnesota; Ingrid Schneider, University of Minnesota . Judy Plante, State of Minnesota is serving as the Task Forces moderater. Colleen Tollefson and John Edmans representatives EMT on the Task Force.

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