DENVER (AP) — Colorado officials say the state took in more tourism money without increasing the overall number of visitors in what is perceived as a success for sustainable tourism.

The Colorado Sun reports the Colorado Tourism Office research released Thursday shows travelers spent $22.3 billion in 2018, a nearly 7% increase over 2017.

Officials say overall visitation numbers remained flat as revenues rose, indicating a two-year plan to bring tourists to less-visited areas of the state is working.

Tourism authorities began a focused campaign in 2017 promoting travel while protecting the state’s natural resources and landscapes.

A brochure offers advice such as avoiding shortcuts that erode trails and carrying out trash.

A survey of 2,500 travelers showed an increasing number of people chose Colorado because of its environmental protection and sustainability focus.

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Information from: The Colorado Sun, http://coloradosun.com

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