Posts tagged “earth day

Treetop Tourism

Posted on April 22, 2012

Just days before Earth Day, visitors to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began lining up to experience the tourist destination’s newest attraction: ¬†Zipline Hilton Head. As the Island Packet reported on opening day, the ride, which sends riders suspended from a pulley down gradually sloping wires tethered to a series of treetop towers, mixes family fun with a dose of ecotourism (zip liners can learn about the delicate balance of nature from the company’s hired ecologist/guide) on an island whose early developer pioneered an aesthetic blend of subdued architecture with Lowcountry nature that has until now provided mainly a sylvan backdrop for decidedly calmer forms of recreation. On the face of it, zip lines seem most closely tied to other, more “extreme” forms of…

Drawing Water, Drawing Tourists

Posted on April 21, 2012

It’s almost Earth Day again. Each year, on the appointed day, thousands of Americans make a ritual of caring for the planet: planting a tree, picking up litter, or simply stopping to smell the roses. Yet the interest, of course, goes far beyond that for many, even reshaping leisure pursuits. Growing trends in ecotourism and agritourism do not necessarily signal a transformative new mindset about the environment, but the surging popularity of visiting working farms, farmers’ co-ops, and public markets and patronizing farm-to-table-minded restaurants suggest more than a passing fancy for seeking bonds to the natural world around us. Traditional tourist destinations seldom figure prominently in any discussion of environmental tourism, but they should. Take water, for instance. Near- and long-term concerns about water…