Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce

National Geographic Takes Notice of Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is proud to be one of three finalists for the National Geographic World Legacy Awards for Destination Leadership.

Our significant history of destination leadership began with the creation of the world’s first national park – Yellowstone in 1872 – and continued with protection of over 97% of lands through the establishment of National Forests, the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park, and over 25,000 acres in conservation easements. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council selected our destination in 2012 as one of the first six Early Adopters of Destination Criteria and found that our destination is “at the forefront of sustainable travel” and our “strong performance in Natural and Cultural Heritage Preservation is mainly attributed to the planning and programs of our public and private sector stakeholders.”

Groups including the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce and the Riverwind Foundation see opportunity in tourism, the community's primary economic driver. The industry can draw the attention of visitors from around the world to the value of conservation. At the same time, these visitors, along with local residents, can benefit from the incredible cultural resources that have developed and blossomed in the community. A perfect day in Jackson Hole is easy to find. Activities may range from downhill skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to enjoying a performance by the Grand Teton Music Festival. It may range from volunteering with Boy Scouts during ElkFest to embarking on a multi-day backpack trip in Yellowstone National Park.

Opportunities are also available to entrepreneurs and established businesses. Local groups are offering a variety of educational and networking events that help make connections to resources. These include the Sustainability Technical Assistance Program offering businesses one-on-one support for developing and implementing sustainability management plans; the Green Drinks JH networking event where members of the business community can connect and discuss projects and ideas related to sustainable business practices; the Sustainability Series on topics including housing, recycling, and energy efficiency; the annual Ecofair that celebrates environmental stewardship and features sustainability-oriented booths, live music, local food, demonstrations, children’s activities, educational information, and more to approximately 2,500 participants; and the annual SHIFT Summit which convenes leaders from North America who are working to preserve and sustain the natural capital of their communities and destinations, and the SHIFT awards, which recognize the most effective, innovative sustainability initiatives underway in North America.

These are just a few of the reasons that Jackson Hole caught the attention of National Geographic. Our small community is proud to be working together to demonstrate environmental best practices, to protect our cultural and natural heritage, to benefit local people, and to educate travelers on the principles of sustainable tourism. The awards will be presented at ITB Berlin on March 6, 2016.

Learn More About the National Geographic World Legacy Award and About Jackson Hole: