Family hiking on summer vacation in Colorado mountains.

Hikers in Rocky Mountains National Park.

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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