PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – From the Cascades to the coast, Oregon offers a variety of adventures. But one local travel program is leading the charge in sustainable tourism in the Willamette Valley.

Stretching across seven counties, the Willamette Valley Visitor’s Association is promoting regenerative tourism — the idea that tourism should leave a place better than it was before and represents a sustainable way of traveling and discovering new places.

“Our mission is to look at a grassroots effort how to foundationally support our communities and make sure tourism is seen as a motivation for doing good and giving back rather than just taking from,” explained WVVA Executive Director Dawnielle Tehama.

Supporting local makers and producers, the organization features several attractions like oak rehabilitation with Left Coast Cellars or West Fir Lodge nature tours.

“The world needs innovation,” Tehama said. “Through the pandemic, when everything was quiet and no one was traveling, we really saw where tourism was broken and how tourism was doing more taking than giving.”