Eco-tourism, It's a phrase that is popping up more and more these days. There are several different ways to define it, but it essentially means trips that have a low impact on the environment. Whether it's Sonnenberg Gardens, or High Falls, or even a destination little farther away, more and more tourists are flocking to the great outdoors.
"I think people are appreciating the planet more, and they come out and in nature they can enjoy the awe inspiring beauty of it and it helps them release from their daily grind at work," says Park Ranger Shand Lind.
The Buffalo National Park in Arkansas is making sure people understand exactly what they're looking at and more importantly, how to best preserve it. "I feel we are caretakers of these natural areas and through education and interpretive programs, we hope to instill in our visitors how important it is for them to be partners with us," says Lind.
To make sure the water stays clear, the river comes with some rules. No glass is allowed. Also, those canoeing must tie their coolers to their boat and there are plenty of places to recycle. But the destination doesn't have to be all natural, in order to go green.
Many hotels across the country are asking customers to help them cut down on water use by washing towels and sheets less frequently. Also, some hotels have found other innovative methods of conservation.
"There is a place for her to insert her keycard and that activates all of the plugs, all of the lights, so that she can use the lights, the plugs, her hairdryer etc. When she leaves the room, it automatically shuts off," says travel agent Libby Castellanos.
They are all small steps, that could end up making a big difference in the minds of travelers.
"The more they put it out there for the traveler to experience, it heightens awareness."
The international eco-tourism society says close to three fourths of travelers think safeguarding the environment is part of a hotel's responsibility.