Most Colorado cities and towns don’t happen to be located either in ski areas or along the Interstate 25 corridor.
It’s true, and state officials are hoping visitors and Coloradans take their tourism dollars to these less-traveled places. The Colorado Tourism Office plans to launch an initiative Monday to encourage people to travel to these areas.
The new Colorado Field Guide is expected to go up on Colorado.com and contain a collection of three- to seven-day itineraries along with tips on ways travelers can protect the state’s natural resources, whether by traveling like a local or taking part in “voluntourism.”
“Our research has been telling us that the people most likely to take a trip to the less-traveled parts of Colorado are Coloradans themselves,” said the director of the state tourism office, Cathy Ritter, in a statement.
“Given the huge population growth our state has experienced in recent years, we believe there’s a big opportunity to drive rural economic development by inspiring Coloradans to explore their own backyard,” she said.
The Field Guide is designed to relieve pressure on the state’s most popular sites by guiding travelers to lesser-known spots. The itineraries provide tips on best times to visit as well as suggestions on how to support the state’s natural beauty through volunteering, donations or behaviors that limit their impact on the state’s resources.
The Colorado Field Guide introduced a dozen itineraries Wednesday, with more than 20 coming online for the official launch Monday and many more to be added over the next year. Available itineraries include: “Silver Thread Byway”: Five days in South Fork, Creede & Lake City; “Spirit of the Southwest”: Five days in Durango, Silverton, & Pagosa Springs; and “Gold Rush Getaways”: Three days in Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Central City & Black Hawk.