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Visit Oceanside Launches Responsible Travel Platform

The online webpage, dubbed ‘Love O’side,’ features a plethora of information on how to meet, stay, and play sustainably

By Amanda Christensen

Visit Oceanside launched its responsible travel platform, Love O’side, in April to help visitors make thoughtful and sustainable choices when exploring the oceanfront city. The webpage features several drop-down menus grouped by different categories, like hotels and outdoor activities, and provides information on different eco-friendly options for both leisure visitors and corporate planners to consider.

Harbor Beach in Oceanside. May 8, 2024
Harbor Beach in Oceanside || Courtesy of Visit Oceanside

“Responsible travel is about more than being eco-friendly,” says Shae Geary, director of PR and corporate communications at Visit Oceanside. “It’s also about supporting local economies and connecting more deeply with a destination by respecting indigenous and community cultures. Research tells us that travelers are increasingly looking for this type of information when making their destination decisions.”

The gO'side electric shuttle. May 8, 2024
The gO’side electric shuttle || Courtesy of Visit Oceanside

Under the “Stay Green” drop-down menu is a list of green lodging options, including the LEED Silver-certified SpringHill Suites Oceanside or The Brick Hotel, a designated “Sustainable Travel Destination” by The “Go Green” tab features thoughtful transportation options like the gO’side electric shuttle, operating along the Oceanside Harbor, the downtown area, and South Oceanside. Planners can keep attendees eating green with a visit to The Plot, a local zero-waste, plant-based restaurant that offers a private dining space for groups. Also, under the “Eat Green” tab, people will find information on South Morro Hills, one of the last remaining agricultural regions along the San Diego coast and home to Mellano Farms and Beach House Winery. Additional tabs include information on sustainable shopping, eco-friendly activities, keeping the environment clean, voluntourism, and social and cultural responsibility.

Tractor tour in South Morro Hills. May 8, 2024
Tractor tour in South Morro Hills || Courtesy of Visit Oceanside

“Business and group travelers increasingly want to ensure that their programs have a positive impact on the destinations they visit,” says Geary. “Many groups specifically seek to build corporate social responsibility messaging and activities into their programs. For some, that’s ensuring programs are environmentally friendly; others might want to give back or do something to leave a destination better than they found it.” She notes that examples of recent group add-ons include helping to upgrade a local school garden, participating in beach clean-ups, and combining an educational social hour with a donation to a local nonprofit that supports coastal renourishment in Oceanside.

Group beach clean-up in Oceanside. May 8, 2024
Group beach clean-up at Harbor Beach || Courtesy of Visit Oceanside

“We encourage planners to use local businesses and products as much as possible and build in activities that are unique or special to Oceanside,” Geary adds. “With Love O’side, we hope to continue to move the needle in ensuring travel positively impacts the destination while minimizing or avoiding negative impacts.”

Exterior of The Plot restaurant in Oceanside. May 8, 2024
Exterior of The Plot restaurant || Courtesy of Visit Oceanside