Top ecotourism destinations: Aspen, US



Aspen in Colorado, US, is a popular tourism location and is among top sustainable destinations suggested by responsibletravel.com ahead of the 11th World Responsible Tourism Awards.

Aspen, located in Colorado’s Pitkin County, is a former mining town turned into a popular tourist destination that offers spectacular walks and landscapes and a number of recreational activities.

Travellers can enjoy nature and wilderness thanks to the proximity of the White River National Forest, as well as several summer and winter leisure activities, such as trekking, biking, cross country skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.

Aspen has made environmental sustainability one its priorities, recognising the threats that climate change poses not only to the whole ecosystem, but also to economic activities of winter holiday locations such as the ski industry.

One of the city’s tourism service, Aspen Snowmass, says for instance, “Our goal is to stay in business forever. To do that, we must remain profitable, solve climate change, treat our community well and operate in a manner that doesn’t harm our local environment.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, the company has invested in clean energy, green buildings and sustainable transport, while directing finance to philanthropic environmental projects.

The city council is also promoting green practices such as recycling, energy saving and green loans. It launched Aspen’s ZGreen Program, a certification and outreach programme aimed at Aspen’s businesses, events, residents and visitors to raise awareness on sustainability.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards celebrates the ‘heroes’ of responsible tourism; it is organised by responsibletravel.com and is sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Photo: W.G. Dayton via flickr

Further reading:

Top ecotourism destinations: Røros, Norway

Top ecotourism destinations: Bonito, Brazil

Travel Foundation: sustainable tourism will soon be ‘the only way to do business’

Ecotourism flourishes when local people are engaged with sustainability

The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2014



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