2023 Willamette Valley Ornament Hunt
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regenerative tourism in the willamette valley
regenerative tourism in the willamette valley

The Willamette Valley and its communities rely on the environment to produce its unique and authentic experiences. The environment relies on all of us to protect and nurture its bounty. The Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) believes that through travel and tourism, regenerative and sustainable practices can be learned and shared across the world. Together with its partners, WVVA is making strides to develop programs and resources to make regenerative and sustainable practices part of our culture so by working together, we can keep our natural resources abundant through our everyday practices.  

what is regenerative tourism?

Regenerative tourism is the idea that tourism should be holistically designed to improve host, traveler, community, and environmental well-being and help them flourish and encourage a more sustainable way of traveling and discovering new people and places.

And in the Willamette Valley—where our farmers, vintners, and outfitters work to protect the region’s rich bounty—that means giving visitors the chance to support businesses who are working to leave a positive impact. This ensures our natural resources and communities continue to thrive well into the future.

Curious to learn more? Get the skinny on regenerative travel—complete with a breakdown of what all it means, its many benefits, and how you can have regenerative experiences on your next trip to the Willamette Valley.

the transformational travel council

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) recently formalized efforts to champion regenerative travel when it proudly partnered with the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). In doing so, WVVA joined globally recognized change-makers and conscious travel experts to commit to offering transformational experiences.

The TTC believes meaningful travel starts from the inside out. It works to deepen connections to discover meaning through travel experiences to foster personal fulfillment through compassion, stewardship, equality, and belonging. In working with the TTC and other partners, WVVA is creating a wealth of resources for frontline staff to bring this vision to life throughout the Valley.

You can help us create resources that address regenerative and sustainable tourism by sharing how your business is promoting these practices.

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WVVA’s regenerative and sustainable tourism initiatives are getting noticed. Find out more in the Destination Stewardship Report.


Explore this program featuring self-paced courses, online gatherings, and in-person workshops, all based on a 5-phase process that incorporates transformational travel design and regenerative leadership practices, designed by the Transformational Travel Council and a team of regenerative tourism development practitioners.

To date, we’ve enjoyed glowing media coverage around our regenerative travel efforts. Here’s a sampling:

Here’s a look at some of our regenerative work so far:

  • Transformative Destinations Program: In spring 2021, the Transformative Travel Council (TTC) launched its Transformative Destinations Program to help destinations respond to the ongoing climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Transformational Travel Council First Adopter
  • Wildfire recovery along the McKenzie River Corridor: In the spring and summer of 2021, we teamed with Cascade Volunteers, First Nature Tours, and other partners to launch the McKenzie Regenerative Travel Project—which sought to help communities recover from devastating wildfires.
  • Willamette River Regenerative Tour: In June 2022, we partnered with First Nature Tours to launch the Willamette River Regenerative Tour to help visitors enjoy the region while engaging in meaningful volunteer opportunities.
  • Regenerative Places program: The Willamette Valley committed to the TTC’s Regenerative places program in September 2022, which helps destinations create roadmaps to improve the wellbeing of the communities and their environments.

Tracey Sunflower, along with her husband Noah, took over the Westfir Lodge in 2018—creating a new kind of travel experience in the Cascade Range.

In the five years since opening, the Sunflowers have worked hard to offer a wide range of regenerative travel experiences that include guided outings that deepen connections with the surrounding Willamette National Forest, hosting an on-site yoga room, planting one tree for every overnight stay, and growing fruits and vegetables for the lodge in a nearby garden.
Learn more about what’s happening at the Westfir Lodge—along with what inspired the Sunflowers to take a regenerative-minded approach and how they’re creating community in the great outdoors.


Communities and locally run businesses all over the Willamette Valley understand the importance of regenerative travel—and are spearheading efforts to provide memorable, authentic, and positive experiences for visitors. We welcome visitors to get involved with these efforts that not only positively impact our environments but also foster understanding and unity.

One such opportunity is the Oak Accord. The conservation agreement works to protect the Oregon white oak and California black oak trees that once covered the Willamette Valley. It does so by working with private landowners (including several wineries) to protect the oak trees on their property.


Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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