One Cool Thing: Dark Sky Tourism on the Rise

Image: Grand Canyon National Park via Wikimedia Commons

Arguably, the light bulb is the most transformative invention humans have introduced to this planet. But if light bulbs have a dark side, it’s that they have stolen the night.” Nadia Drake, a contributing writer for national geographic, says that losing our connection to the night sky is one of the world’s great tragedies. But now, many are seeking to repair those connections, sparking a new tourism industry.

Dark Sky tourism is gaining popularity as post-quarantine travelers flock to campgrounds and national parks. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), founded in 1988, has been certifying public spaces as Dark Sky Preserves for decades. John Barentine, the director of conservation for the IDA, says that the preserves don’t just preserve the beauty but also the wellbeing of crucial ecosystems. Now, there are more than 60 dark sky parks in the U.S. where travelers can go to reconnect with the cosmos, including the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Big Bend National Parks.

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