KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Experience Kissimmee, the official tourism authority for Osceola County, FL, and a trailblazer in the tourism industry, is making strides in sustainability efforts announcing two new programs starting May 1, 2023.
The first is the expansion of the “It Pays to Meet in Kissimmee” program, where meeting organizations can earn up to $10,000 cashback based on the number of actualized paid room nights. The expanded program will now include Trees4Travel, an initiative to plant trees to help with creating future forests, restoring eco-systems, and supporting biodiversity and local communities. Plus, an investment is made into a United Nations renewable energy carbon credit, which will help reduce a portion of the meeting organizations' CO2 emissions. For instance, if a meeting organization actualizes 1,500 paid room nights in Kissimmee, Experience Kissimmee will plant 1,500 trees through the Trees4Travel hybrid program. The meeting organization will receive a certificate of Planet & People Positive Action, which includes a UN CER certificate, post-meeting.
“We are proud to be amongst the first DMOs in the nation to offer a carbon reduction program for meetings and conventions,” said Michelle Moore, Senior Director of Meetings Sales & Services at Experience Kissimmee. “Experience Kissimmee acknowledges that sustainability is of growing importance to meeting planners and delegates, and this is a creative and innovate way to address that.”
The second program will reduce carbon emissions from all air and ground travel conducted by Experience Kissimmee staff by incorporating an emissions calculator into the staff travel request form. The calculator will automatically determine the number of trees that the destination marketing organization (DMO) will plant through the Trees4Travel program to rebalance the carbon footprint generated by each business trip.
"As we celebrate Earth Day, we are excited to announce the expansion of our sustainability efforts at Experience Kissimmee,” said Jason Holic, Senior Vice President of Operations & Community Engagement at Experience Kissimmee. “This includes partially reducing the carbon footprint of meetings and group business for incentive contracts and all future work-related staff travel, starting May 1st."
Experience Kissimmee has been partnering with Trees4Travel on another initiative to encourage sustainability, inviting its clients to join the program by planting trees instead of giving away promotional items during trade shows and conventions.
“At Experience Kissimmee, we recognize the need to contribute in a more ethical, considerate, and regenerative way for the planet and its people,” said DT Minich, President/CEO of Experience Kissimmee. “We are proud of our expanding partnership with Trees4Travel and establishing these progressive initiatives for sustainability.”
Trees4Travel is an award-winning environmental ‘Tech For Good’ company working with travel brands all over the world in the business and leisure sectors providing FREE carbon management technology to calculate and help reduce emissions impact, educating travelers and providing the necessary transitionary tools to get us from where we are today to our net zero targets in the future - making travel and events more ethical, sustainable, planet and people positive.
About Experience Kissimmee:
Experience Kissimmee is the official tourism authority for Osceola County, Florida. Located at the heart of Central Florida, Kissimmee is 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO), minutes from world-famous theme parks and attractions, and nestled in carefully preserved outdoor spaces so visitors can reconnect with nature. Also known as the Vacation Home Capital of the World®, Kissimmee has sprawling resorts with thousands of options ranging from two-bedroom condos to 15-bedroom mansions.
Media Contact: Experience Kissimmee Communications Department
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For information about the Meetings and incentive programs