by Karen Rubin
Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com
The travel industry has embraced many initiatives in order to promote responsible travel and sustainable tourism in order to preserve the natural and cultural resources and sites that draw visitors in the first place. In light of the twin crises impacting travel and tourism to unprecedented degrees – the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis – these initiatives are more urgent and crucial than ever. Here are two:
Marriott Bonvoy Launches Marketing Partnership with the National Park Foundation
During these extraordinary times, more and more Americans are seeking to escape their homes and spend time in the great outdoors. Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s travel program, has just formed a marketing partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The introduction of a dedicated travel planning website makes it simple for members to take advantage of discounted rates for stays at Marriott’s 406 properties located near national parks, as well as the option to redeem points for America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Passes and to donate points to the NPF. The website will also provide travel tips and inspiration from Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, offering trip planning guides from local experts.
Drive-to vacations and getaways serve as a popular option for Americans looking to embark on local adventures. According to the National Park Foundation, most Americans live within 100 miles of a national park. With 419 national park sites in the United States–and at least one national park in every state–Marriott Bonvoy members can plan a national park road trip earning points for stays at Marriott properties throughout their journey toward free nights for future trips and qualifying nights toward elite status.
“In 1916, legislation creating the National Park Service was enacted. The noble vision behind the act has provided generations of Americans and visitors abroad the gift of experiencing our country’s greatest treasures,” said Brian King, Global Officer, Digital, Distribution, Revenue Strategy & Global Sales, Marriott International. “We are thrilled to offer Marriott Bonvoy members a convenient way to plan road trips and explore historical sites and national wonders with their friends and families with this one-of-a-kind travel partnership. The opportunity to experience breathtaking scenery in pristine wilderness settings while giving back to the National Park Foundation is invaluable and will help preserve parks for future adventure seekers.”
Examples of nearby Marriott properties near national parks include Springhill Suites Springdale Zion National Park in Utah and Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown and Fairfield Inn & Suites Gatlinburg Downtown near Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Members can easily plan their national park getaways by visiting the website. From there, they can access travel-related articles from Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, book their desired property and receive the best member rates which start as low as $99 per night, redeem points for annual park passes and donate up to $500 worth of points to the National Park Foundation. Donations will help NPF in its mission to protect and enhance America’s national parks for current and future generations.
“National parks have something for everyone, and we can all play a role in helping to preserve them,” said Stefanie Mathew, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at the National Park Foundation. “The National Park Foundation is thankful to Marriott Bonvoy for not only offering members a nearby place to rest their head after a day full of park adventures, but also the support to help ensure these treasured natural and cultural sites are protected now and into the future.”
America’s national parks offer endless opportunities for enjoyment for everyone from first time visitors to experienced park enthusiasts. For the best experience possible, travelers should #RecreateResponsibly and plan ahead by visiting the National Park Service website.
Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s travel program, comprises the company’s portfolio of 30 hotel brands and home rental offering Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Members can earn and redeem points for stays and accelerate the points they earn with co-branded credit cards from JP Morgan Chase and American Express. The program offers exclusive member experiences and destination tours and adventures on Marriott Bonvoy Moments. When members book direct on Marriott.com they receive perks including free and enhanced Wi-Fi and exclusive member-only rates, and on the Marriott app they enjoy mobile check-in and checkout, Mobile Requests and, wherever available, Mobile Key.
Members earn points when staying at any of the more than 7,400 participating hotels globally. They can redeem points toward free nights at Marriott International brands ranging from The Ritz-Carlton, The St. Regis, W Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Westin to Aloft, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard and Residence Inn. In addition, members residing in the U.S. can accelerate the number of points they can earn and enjoy other benefits with co-branded credit cards from JPMorgan Chase and American Express. Members also achieve higher levels of elite status and benefits the more nights they stay at participating hotels.
To enroll for free, visit (https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/member-benefits/member.mi; for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit MarriottBonvoy.com. To download the Marriott app, go here. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community.
Ikon Pass Collaborates with American Forests to Plant 22,500 Trees
DENVER, CO– Ikon Pass, the seasonal ski/riding pass from Alterra Mountain Company, is joining forces with American Forests for Shred for Sustainability, a program that invites Ikon Pass holders to help create healthy and resilient forests throughout North America.
Ikon Pass holders are encouraged to rack up their skier days at Ikon Pass destinations throughout winter 20/21 and watch their stats climb on the Ikon Pass app Leaderboard. In April 2021, the top 10 Ikon Pass holders with the most ski days from the All Season Leaderboards from each North American resort will have the chance to have 50 trees each donated in their name, totaling 22,500 trees planted throughout six forest projects. Potential Shred for Sustainability volunteer planting events will be announced in spring 2021.
“Ikon Pass is proud to collaborate with an organization such as American Forests that shares our commitment to sustainability,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We revel in the opportunity to engage the Ikon Pass community in a way that gives back to the mountains we all love.”
“We are thrilled to have the support of Ikon Pass and its pass holders who recognize that taking care of our forests is essential to a healthy environment and high-quality recreation experiences,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests. “This commitment of support will help us reforest mountain landscapes beloved by skiers, snowboarders, and other recreationists, from Canada to California, using climate-informed tree planting techniques that will enable these forests to thrive for years to come.”
To participate, Ikon Pass holders must download the Ikon Pass app, create an account and turn on tracking each day on the mountain. The Ieaderboard tracks lifts, trails, distance, hours, vertical feet, max speed, altitude, and difficulty of trails skied themselves and against the entire Ikon Pass community. For official rules, visit www.ikonpass.com/shred-for-sustainability.
The Ikon Pass, from Alterra Mountain Company, offers access to 44 iconic winter destinations across the Americas, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and is a collaboration of industry leaders – Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, SkiBig3, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, RED Mountain, Taos Ski Valley, Windham Mountain, Zermatt, Thredbo, Mt Buller, Niseko United, Valle Nevado, and NZ Ski. Each demonstrates integrity, character and independence that is reflected in their mountains and guests. The Ikon Pass is available now at www.ikonpass.com.
The Ikon Pass destinations include Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper Mountain Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, and Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming; Big Sky Resort in Montana; Stratton, Sugarbush Resort, and Killington in Vermont; Windham Mountain in New York; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain in Michigan; Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington; Mt. Bachelor in Oregon; Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada; SkiBig3 in Alberta, Canada; Revelstoke Mountain Resort, RED Mountain, and Cypress Mountain in British Columbia, Canada; Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico; Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird in Utah; Zermatt in Switzerland; Thredbo and Mt Buller in Australia; Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt in New Zealand; Niseko United in Japan, and Valle Nevado in Chile. Special offers are available at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, the world’s largest heli-skiing and heli-accessed hiking operation. For more information, visitwww.ikonpass.com.
Founded in 1875 and instrumental in the creation of the US Forest Service in the early 1900s, American Forests, in 2018, it won a decade-long campaign persuading Congress to provide stable funding for preventing and fighting forest fires. Today, it is focused on building a reforestation movement in America, from cities to large, rural landscapes. “We create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building.”
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