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Travel Professionals Give Back to Oakland

March 24, 2017

Tourism Cares kicked off Tourism Cares for Our Cities March 24 in Oakland, California, teaming volunteers with local partners to help improve the city experience for locals and visitors alike. “Tourism Cares highlights the impact of tourism as an economic driver for cities,” says Mark Everton, president and CEO of Visit Oakland. “Visitors spend $1.5B in Oakland annually, supporting local businesses, attractions and communities.

Being the only 2017 West Coast destination of the program reminds locals and industry professionals that enhancing Oakland’s unique, urban offerings that attract visitors will ultimately improve the Oakland way of life.”   Oakland is undergoing a renaissance with a hot culinary scene, edgy art and vibrant nightlife. In addition to direct impact on the ground, Tourism Cares for Our Cities showcases culturally rich destinations with much to offer to an influential national audience. Volunteers worked at three different sites:

  • Lake Merritt is a 3.4 mile heart shaped shoreline in the center of the city, is home to the oldest designated wild life refuge, and joins all Oakland parks in being pesticide free. City employees rely on volunteers to help with large scale plantings and landscape projects. Tourism Cares volunteers pruned and planted a rose garden and created seed balls for a youth education program.
  • Iconic Children’s Fairyland has been bringing joy to children for 60 years and was the inspiration for Disney World. With close to 60 storybook sets, kid-size rides, friendly animals and 10 acres of gardens—there is so much to care for and with limited staffing. Today volunteers improved the animal exhibits, built storage sheds, a greenhouse and helped with general cleaning and painting projects.
  • A small group worked with a local artist to add to the already impressive art on city streets by working on a mural in Old Oakland that will become part of a developing urban art tour.

Tourism Cares for Oakland is made possible by United Airlines, Visit Oakland, AAA Travel, Pleasant Holidays,, Google, Las Vegas CVA, NTA, Courier, FTA, Trip Mate, United States Tour Operators Association, Virgin America, Visit California, Gray Line of San Francisco and MaCher. Tourism Cares is focusing on City Tourism in 2017 in keeping with the UN World Tourism Organization’s recognition of City Tourism as a critical force in sustainable development and livability. This is the first event in the series, continuing in Detroit in May, Providence in September and Toronto in October. To learn more, visit

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