When I was just a youngster, family vacations were road trips with fond memories of places we visited. One item that was a key component of every vacation trip was the ice chest. Packed with precision by dad under mom’s watchful eye, it would keep us fed for the length of our trip. It was certainly too big for me, or my older sister to handle. That leads me to the point of this story.

Stopping at the roadside picnic areas, dad handled the ice chest and mom set the table. My sister and I had clean-up duty. Paper plates, napkins, paper cups all had to find their way to the trash can. Mom’s challenge to us was to leave this place better than we found it. Today, that charge is coming from state tourism offices and partner organizations, local DMOs, and the public private sector.

As part of this June 2022 edition of Leisure Group Travel, the Colorado Group Tour Guide will again be visiting the “Care for Colorado Leave No Trace Principles.” Those seven principles encourage visitors to Know before You Go, Stick to Trails, Leave It As You Find It, Trash the Trash, Be Careful With Fire, Keep Wildlife Wild, and Share Our Trails & Parks.

Also, in this Outdoor edition of LGT is a story on North Carolina’s involvement with the Leave No Trace Principles to protect their state’s outdoor spaces. While following the same seven principles, North Carolina is the first state with an ocean coast to become involved.

The “Montana Matters Protect Montana Moments” has many characteristics of the Leave No Trace Principles. But, they also encourage visitors to  Play it Safe and Build an Inclusive Outdoors. Watch for the Montana Itinerary Guide recently published for more information and detail.

Numerous organizations from throughout the states mentioned above have joined their state tourism offices in committing to preserving their outdoors. When planning your tours, take notice of what the states you’re visiting are doing to maintain the attractiveness of their outdoors. Pitch in and be a part of that effort.

It’s through these sustainable tourism efforts that if we are able to maintain our great outdoors tourism products, it’s good for all of us. And that’s what’s on my mind.

By Dave Bodle