Responsible Tourism

Responsible Tourism

With many Colorado residents voicing concerns about the impacts of travelers on special places and natural resources, the Roadmap’s steward pillar laid the groundwork for a new partnership aimed at protecting what makes Colorado such a special destination.

As part of this initiative, the Colorado Tourism Office is encouraging travelers to explore off-peak seasons and less-visited destinations, while inspiring them to travel like a local, engage in voluntourism and support causes important to Coloradans.

Care for Colorado Principles Toolkit  Electric Byways Tourism Toolkit

On March 15, 2017, the Colorado Tourism Board unanimously adopted the statewide industry strategic plan known as the Colorado Tourism Roadmap, embracing 'Steward' as one of the four pillars. Established to “Protect the integrity of Colorado resources through sustainable tourism,” the 'Steward' pillar grew from Coloradans’ concerns about the impacts of travelers.

In more than 20 face-to-face listening sessions throughout the state, tourism stakeholders and other residents shared concerns ranging from impacts on water, land and wildlife to the experience of too many people in the same place. It was clear that failing to address those concerns could threaten public support for Colorado tourism.

Colo-Road Trips

Since May 2017, the Colorado Tourism Office and industry partners have created more than 200 multi-day itineraries to inspire visits to less-traveled seasons and places. See all Colo-Road Trip itineraries.

Care for Colorado Principles

Since working with Leave No Trace to create the Care for Colorado Principles in spring 2018, the Colorado Tourism Office has shared them with millions in videos, printed guides, posters, public relations, and social media. Read the Care for Colorado Principles Toolkit.

Sustainability Toolkits and Workshops

Since 2018, the Colorado Tourism Office has created and shared resources for Colorado tourism-industry partners to steward their destinations and take part in statewide initiatives.

Electric Byways

The Colorado Tourism Office is collaborating with the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Department of Transportation and others to install fast-charging stations by 2021 along all 26 Colorado byways to push low-impact travel. Read the Electric Byways Tourism Toolkit.

Care for Colorado Coalition

Building on its alliance with Leave No Trace, the Colorado Tourism Office has led creation of a statewide coalition to drive destination stewardship and share the Care for Colorado Principles.

Partnership with Leave No Trace

In October 2017, the Colorado Tourism Office became the first state tourism agency to join forces with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Promote the COTREX App

The Colorado Tourism Office promotes the Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX), an app developed in 2018 by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, creating guidance to the tens of thousands of miles of Colorado trails. Read the COTREX Toolkit.

Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways

In spring 2020, the Colorado Tourism Office is launching a new microsite with detailed maps, itineraries, videos and trip tips for exploring the 26 scenic byways. See all scenic and historic byways.

The foundation of the Colorado Tourism Office’s new stewardship platform is exemplified in a ground-breaking partnership with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

The partnership was announced October 2017 with leaders of the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics outlining a plan to encourage Colorado’s 85 million-plus visitors to be active stewards of the state’s precious natural resources. 

The alliance with the Colorado Tourism Office is a first for the Leave No Trace Center, which lists federal public land agencies, as well as Subaru and other major U.S. outdoor retailers, among its strategic partners.

The Colorado Tourism Office and the Leave No Trace Center have outlined their new relationship in a six-page 'Memorandum of Understanding,' intended as a model for other states as well. An accompanying task agreement describes a commitment to fostering collaborations aimed at creating best practices for at least three tourism industry sectors by October 2018. The two organizations also are collaborating on messaging, research and a statewide public lands cleanup project.

Dana Watts, executive director for Leave No Trace Center, said her board of directors sees much potential for expanding the reach of its iconic messaging through new state partnerships. “Since our founding in 1994, we’ve magnified our message primarily through strategic alliances with organizations that share our passion and commitment,” Watts said. “This new partnership with the CTO holds huge potential for influencing many millions of people. Protecting natural resources is extremely important in a state like Colorado, where 37 percent of lands are federally owned and another 5 percent are in state hands.”