Environmentally friendly attractions are being promoted by Virginia tourism officials to direct visitors to destinations that are easy on the environment.

The web site, VirginiaGreenTravel.org, is a guidepost to "certified green" tourism businesses such as lodging facilities, parks and other attractions.

The site also has links to outdoor adventure programs, the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, eco-friendly events and travel tips.

To be certified "green," a business must commit to waste-reducing activities, such as recycling; purchasing environmentally friendly products; and other steps that are kind to the environment.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality manages Virginia Green, a program that awards certification to tourism-related businesses that take voluntary actions to reduce harmful impacts on the environment.

"It's smart business sense for Virginia and will help preserve and protect our natural heritage for future generations of citizens and tourists,'" said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corp.

Virginia Green worked with the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to educate businesses such as hotels, inns and B&Bs about the benefits of green practices. The program has grown to 140 lodging facilities, 23 restaurants, 20 conference centers, two convention centers and six attractions.

The DEQ plans to expand Virginia Green to include wineries, golf courses and Virginia's welcome centers and rest areas.

Tourism is a $17.7 billion industry in Virginia.