Goal of new fund to inspire and increase region’s sustainable tourism

The Blackstone Valley Tourism council (BVTC) announced the Blackstone Valley Heritage Environmental Trust Fund, which will be formally introduced during the BVTC 30th Anniversary Dinner and Awards, slated for Thursday evening, October 1st, 2015, at the Twin River Event Center, Lincoln, RI.

“Today, our Blackstone River Valley is considered one of Rhode Island 's most improved visitor destinations. Our turnaround can be attributed by focusing on revitalizing our natural resources, protecting and conserving our local environment and open spaces and making the Blackstone American Heritage River the centerpiece of our new National Historical Park,” said Dr. Robert D. Billington, BVTC President, in announcing the new fund.

Dr Billington noted that the future mission of BVTC will be on the significance of Blackstone River Valley ’s natural infrastructure that integral to the National Historical Park, local communities, and visitor destinations with special emphasis on educating future generations on how our environment affects our overall quality of life.

For 2016, the new Blackstone Valley Heritage Environmental Trust Fund will use proceeds to benefit ongoing river education on its popular 40 passenger river tour boat Blackstone Valley Explorer. The Explorer is only riverboat of its kind that has provided seasonal tours on portions of the Blackstone River, along with school science and education tours, and environmental awareness tours since 1993, to over 360 thousand people locally, nationally and internationally.

Also, the Trust Fund will expand BVTC’s groundbreaking role in public awareness and education of sustainable tourism development, for which BVTC has won world awards in being one of the few organizations around the globe for adopting world class sustainable tourism standards.

“Since BVTC’s inception in 1985, our agency has been the hallmark of developing and implementing destination stewardship efforts for the Blackstone River Valley. Our main focus is to continuously enhance and sustain our destination for the greatest economic return without compromising the standard and quality of life of our residents,” Dr. Billington added.

The long term goals for the Trust Fund will center on educational community outreach to develop responsible, enlightened, wisely managed tourism that sustains and enhances the geographical character, environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and integrity in the Blackstone River Valley based on:

  • Balancing economic benefits of tourism with preservation of the environmental, historical and cultural heritage
  • Creating high-quality, high-powered educational and recreational experiences for visitors
  • Encouraging the philosophies of whole-community planning to achieve sustainable tourism
  • Adhering to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Sustainable Tourism Principles
  • Embedding National Geographic Society Geotourism Planning Principles
  • Implementing Responsible Tourism activities that synchronize with the Community's Values
  • Using Civic Tourism Guidelines in community planning

BVTC is taking ongoing donations for the new Blackstone Valley Heritage Environmental Trust Fund.

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Blackstone Valley Tourism Council
175 Main Street 
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860 USA  
Tel: 401-724-2200