Category: Blog

The Sundarbans Reserve Forest, located in the south-west region of Bangladesh, is the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearly three million people live in and around the Sundarbans. Generations of this population have become highly dependent upon the forest for its environmental protection and nature-based economic opportunities. Conservation of this high-biodiversity and sensitive forest is vital for the livelihoods of the people of the Sundarbans. 

Solimar International is currently leading implementation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bangladesh Ecotourism and Conservation Alliance (BECA) project. By forming BECA, or the Alliance, private sector members in Bangladesh are united to generate sustainable development activities that protect both the Sundarbans Reserve Forest and the people that depend on it. The desired outcome of this project is to maximize tourism as a tool for both poverty alleviation and conservation. Solimar aims to achieve this outcome through tourism development efforts centered around community capacity building. 

This article will highlight the significance of capacity building in tourism development, and how it can serve as a mechanism to transform the socioeconomic standing of women. 

Why Capacity Building?

USAID identified the need to utilize tourism in Bangladesh for social and environmental benefits, but in order to do so, Solimar will find ways to stimulate the tourism industry and tackle the barriers hindering its growth. Some of these barriers include, but are not limited to, a lack of industry knowledge, weak governance, and a lack of organizational strength. The overarching issue at hand is the lack of collaborative capacity within the tourism sector in Bangladesh. 

To overcome this challenge, the Solimar team has devised many opportunities for capacity building. For example, the Alliance hosts tourism planning workshops across Bangladesh so that local stakeholders can network and learn about tourism innovations. The Alliance also supports the business development of local enterprises by providing shared resources. To improve local governance, Solimar engages community management organizations and institutions to consolidate viewpoints and strengthen impact. 

Evidently, capacity building is a central component of the Bangladesh project. However, I want to highlight its relation to a foundational goal of this project – gender equity. 

Capacity Building for Female Empowerment 

Gender equity is a thematic element noticeable across several project activities. The living conditions of women in Bangladesh are in constant struggle despite government initiatives. Women’s participation in the workforce is limited to low-paying sectors, such as the dangerous, labor-intensive garment industry. This economic inequality stimulates numerous social issues, including gender-based violence and child marriage – where 59% of girls are married before the age of 18 (USAID). 

Tourism opens doors for women in Bangladesh. The range of employment opportunities the tourism industry provides can help women break into the workforce. Globally, 54% of people employed in tourism are women; yet, it remains a rather male-dominated industry due to gender discrepancies in earnings. Solimar and the Alliance aim to equip women with the skills and resources necessary to not only reach employment opportunities, but also to grow within the industry. This effort does not stop at conventional job growth but further assists women with financing opportunities, network development, and individual capacity building. 

Here are some examples of programs that demonstrate these actions: 

1. Network Development through the Women in Tourism Club

As in any enterprise, it’s crucial to create peer networks to be able to grow within that industry. Working in a male-dominated space, women in the tourism industry across Bangladesh, particularly around the Sundarbans, lack skill-building and networking opportunities. To resolve this concern, the Alliance established the Women in Tourism Club to bring together female professionals looking to enter or grow in the tourism sector. From tourism marketing to tour agencies to hospitality management, women from all backgrounds in tourism have joined. The club has both online and in-person opportunities. Virtually, club members can connect on online platforms to support one another and access educational material. Offline, the Alliance hosts in-person meetings and workshops where women can receive training on leadership and entrepreneurship as well as share their experiences and ideas for collaboration. The club also promotes women-led national advocacy to break additional barriers that these women may face. 

Women in Tourism meeting led by Solimar’s Director of Community Development, Chloe King

2. Individual Capacity Building for Women in the Sundarbans 

The communities living on the edge of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest are incredibly dependent upon the forest for its environmental protection and economic opportunities but primarily live below the poverty line. Through its Student Research Placement Program, Solimar sent researcher Catherine Padgett from the University of Edinburgh to the Sundarbans to assess the relationship between the food security and regional stability for the Banojibi people, a community living in and around the Sundarbans, and conservation efforts that take place in the mangrove forest. During her time in Bangladesh, Padgett worked with the Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS), an Alliance member, to study the deeper impacts of their current initiatives.  

Student Researcher Catherine Padgett at a BEDS program in Bangladesh

BEDS’ current programs provide a platform for the Banojibi people to share the profound knowledge of the Sundarbans they possess to visitors while simultaneously promoting conservation. By creating nature-based income opportunities such as community-based nature education programs and conservation efforts like mangrove nurseries, women are given a chance to hone their skills and transition from home labor to an alternate livelihood. Padgett found that providing women with a chance to develop their individual capacity serves as a holistic solution. These initiatives not only strengthen food security and regional stability, but also provide women with more agency to control their finances. 

Solimar and the Alliance continue to promote research and initiatives that look into the needs of women in overlooked communities so that they implement activities that build capacity within these communities.

The Future of Women in Tourism 

Though women stand as the majority of the global tourism workforce, they earn almost 15% less than their male counterparts. By creating the aforementioned models of capacity building for women, Solimar is helping the industry bridge this gap while also promoting social and economic empowerment by creating innovations for women in tourism. Beyond Bangladesh, there are many examples of how community-based tourism is utilized to build capacity for women. Check out how the Artisan Development project in Southern Morocco promotes the business of hundreds of female-owned stalls in artisan markets. 

To many, the positive impacts of the tourism industry at first glance seem limited to leisure and economic development. When you take a closer look, you see the immense social change tourism prompts when people are equipped with the right tools. 

Solimar is here to create those opportunities. Contact us to learn how you can be a part of that mission. 

When it comes to tourism experiences in the United States, there is arguably none as large in scale or impact as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT). The trail spans 4,900 miles and is accompanied by over 6,000 miles of driving routes across 16 states, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Oregon’s Pacific Coast. It is a trail equal in size to the distances from Anchorage to Cancun, from Paris to Mumbai, or from Cairo to Cape Town. Needless to say, the trail is massive, and has a potentially huge impact on any town or community it runs through as a result. 

The interesting part about the trail however, is that even though it is administered by the National Park Service, they own almost none of the land along the trail. Instead, the route is owned and operated by the stakeholders that call each place along the trail home. They are the people who can help better the trail, and, in turn, make the trail better for them and their communities. But who are these stakeholders? What importance do they actually play in the trail’s success? We hope to answer these questions as we discuss the roles these people have in one of the biggest tourism networks on the planet. 

lcnht landmark
Gateway Arch National Park, the former start of the Louisiana Purchase exploration

Who are the Stakeholders of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail?

Stakeholders are individuals or groups that have an interest in, or are impacted by, the decisions, operations, and success of a business. In this case, it is anyone who has an invested interest in the success of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. These stakeholders can range from federal government organizations to individual business owners. Most stakeholders for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail fall into one of the following six categories: 

LCNHT stakeholders

1. States

The trail is split up into five regions. It begins in the Ohio River region, which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It continues through the Missouri Traverse region, which includes Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa. The trail then flows through the Great Plains region of North Dakota and South Dakota, and the Plains to Peaks region of Montana and Idaho. It finishes in the Columbia River region of Oregon and Washington. People from every state mentioned here collaborate to run activities along the trail, whether they are from official state tourism departments, state parks teams, or any other state-level government agency. 

2. Native American Tribes

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) helps the project by leading the charge to promote native-owned businesses and communicate with tribal lands along the trail. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail passes through 15 reservations, as well as the historical lands of many more tribes that have since moved. Each tribe has interpretive centers, museums, festivals, and restaurants that all showcase Native traditions and their side of the Lewis and Clark story. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is our valued partner in facilitating these relationships. 

native american tribal history is integral to the LCNHT

3. Federal Land Managers

The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all oversee and manage land on the trail. Anytime the trail passes through a national park, national forest, or any other land operated by the federal government, these guys help keep it the healthiest and most thriving it can be. 

4. Volunteer Groups

Many local destination marketing and management organizations, interpretative teams in parks, or local museums are made up of volunteer groups working to bring people to their town. They do incredible work and are deeply passionate about their jobs. The LCNHT provides them with great opportunities to grow tourism in their hometowns and achieve their goals. 

5. Nonprofit Groups 

Nonprofit groups like the Lewis and Clark Trust and the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation work to educate the public and preserve the land and history of the trail. They contribute greatly to the interpretive information presented about the trail’s history. Many other local nonprofits that have a mission to solve a problem or promote a topic lie along the trail. The popularity of the LCNHT makes it easier to bring visitors to their communities and raise awareness for their causes. 

6. Private Sector 

Lastly, the private sector comprises all the privately-owned businesses along the trail. This includes hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, gift shops, tour operators, wineries, breweries, and more. This is mainly made up of local residents who live along the trail, and they have a huge impact on its success. 

wineries LNCHT
Wineries are great businesses to feature on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Why Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Stakeholders are Essential

As previously mentioned, the National Park Service may be advertising and managing the trail, but the actual attractions and points of interest along the trail are owned by the locals. This is a type of tourism called geotourism, in which the goal is to promote the unique character of a place. This is best done through local collaboration. People are usually proud and passionate about the place they live, or the community they are a part of. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail hopes to tap into that passion by asking the locals along the trail to help with its promotion and marketing. 

The main way of doing this is via the LCNHT website and its interactive map. The tourism team at Solimar International who operate the website know that a full knowledge of everything to do in every town along the trail is hard to have, if not impossible. The way they combat this is by having local business owners submit their business to be featured on the website’s map. Soon enough, the whole map will be filled with local spots to eat, shop, drink, and play. This gives a sense of authenticity to tourists, and economic and cultural prosperity to the locals. Research shows that local collaboration makes tourism destinations succeed and be viewed positively in the eyes of locals. Stakeholders of the Lewis and Clark trail are what make the trail what it is, and their collaboration is paramount to the success of it as a tourist destination. 

families hike the LCNHT
The Lewis and Clark Trail is an iconic cross-country trip, perfect for families

How You Can Get Involved in the LNCHT as a Stakeholder or Tourist

There is a lot of potential for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to impact communities around the United States in a positive way. If you or someone you know lives along the trail, the best way to get involved is to make an account on the Lewis and Clark Travel website. From there, you can submit local points of interest to be featured on our interactive map. The listing could be as big as a national park, or as small as your local small business. Other than that, it comes down to learning more about the relationships between communities and the tourism industry. Learning how to showcase your town, no matter how small, can help attract people from all around the United States and beyond. 

For more information on how communities and stakeholders can enhance the tourism industry (and vice versa), check out our blogs on community-based tourism, stakeholder engagement in destination planning, and how stakeholders embraced tourism in Armenia. We hope to see you all exploring the trail sometime soon!

greenwashing tourism industry

Travel greenwashing and the challenges of an environmentally conscious tourist: who to trust, how to spot authenticity, and more.

From backpackers to luxury travelers, ​​the climate crisis affects us all. As travelers become increasingly aware of the issues impacting the Earth, they seek to reward and fiscally support businesses in the tourism industry with environmentally friendly practices. A subsection of the tourism industry known as “eco-tourism” has emerged in response to the demand for eco-friendly options. Some tourists are consciously opting to use their vacation time to do things like take a domestic road trip along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail instead of flying thousands of miles to an all-inclusive resort.

There is also no shortage of travel businesses touting their sustainability practices. But when businesses decide to skip a step, reaping the rewards of sustainable efforts without actually implementing sustainable alternatives, it can leave travelers struggling to navigate between who is actually sustainable and who is simply doing travel greenwashing

travel sustainably by hiking beautiful mountain vistas
Traveler taking in the view from Ciucas, Romania (David Marcu, Unsplash)

Back to Basics

What is Greenwashing? 

In general terms, greenwashing is a marketing style that falsely advertises a service or product in an environmentally friendly light. Given how pervasive greenwashing is within the tourism industry, it can be particularly tricky for a traveler to identify. For example, when a hotel claims to use sustainable practices in order to cater to a more ecologically conscious market, they would be greenwashing if they are unfaithful to those claims. 

How to Spot Travel Greenwashing

Keep an eye out for lone buzz words like “eco”, “environmentally-friendly”, and “sustainable” in descriptions. If there is no information or detailed examples to back it up, it is likely false. A business committed to sustainability will not shy away from getting into specifics. 

In case the irony didn’t give it away already, these plastic cups labeled “Eco” that were found at a beach cleanup on Long Island, New York are a great example of greenwashing (Brian Yurasits, Unsplash)

When in doubt, ask! 

Any eco-entrepreneur worth their buck will gladly engage in conversation with a potential customer on their sustainable practices. When planning your trip, it is always a good idea to contact a business and ask for more details. Don’t let language barriers deter you either! Google Translate can be a great communication tool when using simple sentences, especially if email or instant messaging is an option.  

Are they legit? 

A genuinely sustainable business will typically present evidence alongside their environmentalist claims. If you want an example of what to look for, then look no further than the numerous guest houses in the Dahar region of Tunisia. Many businesses like Ouled El Khil (pictured below), boast farm-fresh dishes produced via sustainable agricultural methods like permaculture and provide pictures with in-depth descriptions to add legitimacy to their claims. If you are still on the fence after reviewing the evidence, it never hurts to engage the service provider for more information. 

Environmentally friendly permaculture farming at guesthouse Domaine Ouled El Khil in Ghomrassen, Tunisia (Destination Dahar)
Environmentally friendly permaculture farming at guesthouse Domaine Ouled El Khil in Ghomrassen, Tunisia (© FTADD)

Let’s Put Our Knowledge of Travel Greenwashing to the Test

The whole point of marketing is to influence an audience into feeling a certain way, and greenwashing is no different. When done well, greenwashing can be deceiving, so let’s go for a test drive: 

After a quick web search, you find a hotel for your next vacation. It looks nice enough and claims to be “eco-friendly”. The question of the hour: is it really — or is this greenwashing? 

Some key questions to ask: 

  • How does the hotel support local residents and the surrounding community?
  • How does the hotel prevent harming the natural habitat around them? 
  • What is the hotel’s waste management policy? 
  • Do they recycle and avoid single use plastics? 
  • How do they work to conserve water?
  • How do they prevent pollution?

Questions that probe further into the company’s future are also a great way to get to know the ethos of the establishment you are considering to support. For example, ask about their plan to reduce their carbon footprint. The more you can target your questions, the more direct and useful the responses will be. Most business owners who prioritize sustainable practices will happily discuss their efforts with a potential guest. In fact, they likely appreciate and share your passion for solving the complex problems our planet faces.

On the off chance they do not engage, it is likely they do not have the evidence to support their claims. At this point, you may be better off taking your business somewhere that you deem truly worthy of your patronship, but at the very least you have given them something to consider by reaching out. 

Litter on a beach near a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Dustin Woodhouse, Unsplash)
Litter on a beach near a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Dustin Woodhouse, Unsplash)

Preventing Travel Greenwashing in the First Place

The World Federation of Advertisers recently updated its code on greenwashing. Their new guidance emphasizes that any environmentalist claims in a service or product description must be clear, readily backed up, and precise. Misleading by omission is also ill-advised. However, despite these strides in anti-greenwashing policy, there is no global enforcement of such initiatives. It is up to individual nations to legislate anti-greenwashing regulations. Therefore, when looking to travel abroad, it can be helpful to check the greenwashing laws of the country you are visiting. If a nation enforces anti-greenwashing advertising regulations, then claims made in descriptions may be more readily trusted. 

Better yet, if you don’t feel like spending hours trying to understand anti-greenwashing legislation, there are organizations that weed out the greenwashing for you. Groups like Solimar International can help you find businesses that align with your ethical and sustainable values. Check out Solimar’s recommendations for your next eco-friendly adventure! 

How to eat sustainably while traveling

How to Eat Sustainably While Traveling

Fall intern Megan O’Beirne has worked as a sustainability professional in the luxury hospitality industry, first in Laamu Atoll, Maldives and then in Cartagena, Colombia. Given her vast international experience and passion for the environment, she has adopted what she calls her “food philosophy” in regards to food on the road. Read on to find out her thoughts on how to eat sustainably while traveling:

We all grapple with the question of what to eat while traveling. Do you maintain a healthy diet or indulge? Do you try unfamiliar flavors or crave comfort food? Is my next destination vegan/vegetarian friendly? Throughout my time living, working, and traveling abroad, I have developed what I have come to call my food philosophy. It guides my efforts to make sustainable choices when it comes to dining on vacation.

Fisherman shucking oysters and urchins by hand on the beach
Eating fresh oysters and urchins on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia can support local, artisanal fishermen.

Putting my Vegetarian Diet on Hold

When I first started studying environmental science, I decided that if I was going to practice what I preach as an environmentalist, I was going to eat a vegetarian diet. Upon further realization that animals still need to be raised to produce their byproducts, and therefore still have the same environmental impact, I thought I had to become vegan. This lasted about six months until I left the United States for the first time and studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. With my first solo steps into the world came the desire to experience every part of the new culture I was immersed in, and a huge part of that is food. I put my veganism on hold while I lived in the land of smoked herring, crispy pork, and Danish street hotdogs.

Various foods and breads on a board
Denmark is one of the world’s largest pork producers, accounting for half of the country’s agricultural exports.

Shifting from Vegetarian to Locavore

When I started working as the Sustainability Manager at Six Senses Laamu, a luxury eco-resort in the Maldives, I was once again faced with a vegetarian’s dilemma. Maldives is a low-lying nation in the Indian Ocean whose 1,200 islands make up only 1% of the country’s territory, while the other 99% is sea. Staples include tuna, chili, and coconut in various forms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here is where I came to terms with two important distinctions between cooking for myself at home and eating out in the world. The first is that Maldives has limited land area for crop production. The vegetables that are imported by ship or plane from abroad are not nearly as environmentally friendly as the tuna that was caught yesterday by pole-and-line fisherman with one of the most sustainable fishing methods in the world. 

Secondly, when someone invites me into their home for a meal, I find it difficult to ask for something special to be prepared for me if meat is being served. Sharing food is a universal language that connects people from different cultures, and I revel in trying new cuisines if that means sitting down at the table with someone new. With these sentiments in mind, I began shifting from vegetarian to locavore, or someone who eats locally and seasonally whenever possible.

Tuna, onion, chili, coconut, and banana on banana leaves
Tuna, chili, and coconut are staples of the Maldivian diet.

Do Your Research on What is Locally Sustainable

A few years later, I visited my brother in New Zealand and learned that deer were introduced for sport hunting. The population of the invasive species grew out of control, eventually contributing to deforestation. The deer would eat the pine tree saplings before they had a chance to grow into full-size trees. Hunters were given the task of culling the population, while some were captured for deer farming. Thus, venison chops, sliders, and pies popped up on menus across the country. 

I would never order a deer burger anywhere else in the world, but in New Zealand it made sense because of two more realizations that now contribute to my philosophy. Eating based on where you are is the way to eat fresh ingredients, with a low carbon footprint, that are culturally appropriate, and made by people who have practiced the preparation methods for generations. That deer burger also helped combat deforestation, which seemed like a worthy cause for me to break the environmentalists’ code of conduct and eat meat. There are endless examples of other ways our food systems can be climate positive through reforestation, restoration, and regeneration. Finding these is the key to how to eat sustainably while traveling.

Deer in a field with telephone poles and wires
Deer farming began in New Zealand and the country remains the world’s largest producer and exporter.

The Most Sustainable Diet is the One that is Right for You

Venison in New Zealand, tuna in Maldives, and pork in Denmark made their way into my diet during my travels, but did not reserve a permanent place in my home kitchen. These foods brought me authentic experiences that were closer to the people, religions, economies, and social structures of the communities I visited than if I had stuck to my principles as a strict vegetarian. I now avoid the vegetarian label, even though I cook plant-based meals for myself at home. Instead, I eat based on what is local, fresh, seasonal, culturally appropriate, and on special occasions — whatever the chef or grandmother in the kitchen says is the house specialty. How to eat sustainably while traveling is what works best for you.

We all know we should be eating less meat, buying less junk food, and using less plastic. But at the end of the day, we should all make decisions around what goes on our plate based on what makes the most sense for our own bodies, minds, and hearts. You can learn more about how to travel sustainably from these useful links, or by following Solimar International on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Bon appétit, buen provecho, and itadakimasu!

Two female chefs serving a bowl of soup and smiling
Words of wisdom: always make friends with the cooks and say yes to the chef’s special.
lewis and clark caverns in montana, beautiful mountains

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT) commemorates the Corps of Discovery’s 1804-1806 expedition of the Louisiana Purchase. Led by Meriwether Lewis and Wiliam Clark, this epic journey contributed to significant changes to the land we now know as America. Ranging from political, social, economic, and cultural, these changes brought on by the Lewis and Clark expedition forever embodied the American spirit. To discover the new, to chart the unknown, and to ultimately, tell the story of our country.

“The Lewis and Clark Expedition is more than the story of two men. It is the story of many: individuals and groups, military men and scientists, a president and a slave, women and men, French-speaking boatment and American Indians. It is a story of loss and hope. It is a story of changes that began in 1803 and that continue today,” – U.S. National Park Service 

Solimar has been supporting this project since September 2016.

oregon beach lewis and clark national historic trail stretches all the way to the pacific

Where is the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail?

The LCNHT is one of the most extensive national historic trails in the United States. Stretching across 16 states, it is approximately 4,900 miles long from Pennsylvania to Oregon. The trail runs through eight National Park Service units and identifies as many as 50 Native American tribe communities throughout the entirety of the trail. When the National Park Service (NPS) decided to commemorate this historic expedition in 1978, it identified and marked the routes and sites of the trailblazing journey. In doing so, the National Park Service’s mission statement to protect, interpret, and preserve the resources associated with the public’s history fostered a relationship between the past and the present.  

great falls lewis and clark statue along the LCNHT

The LCNHT – State by State

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Oregon

lewis and clark caverns in montana, beautiful mountains

The LCNHT Today 

From its humble but ambitious origins, today the LCNHT reflects the “story of many ” through its place-based authenticity. Today, local communities and cultures near the trail are more abundant than ever. The result of these growing communities has provided an opportunity that encourages domestic and international visitors to experience everything the trail has to offer. As a result, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Geotourism Program was born. 

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Geotourism Program 

Destined to engage tourism stakeholders across the entire trail, the Geotourism program is designed to protect, manage, and promote sustainable tourism on the LCNHT. To accomplish this, local destination management organizations are encouraging increased public participation along this historic journey with a focus on respect for the land and local resources. Local ambassadors and storytellers are working together to increase education about how to be a sustainable tourist along the trail so local communities can reap the benefits of tourism. Additionally, stakeholders have worked in tandem with the communities and nations to ensure the most sustainable and beneficial outcomes. Locals understand what makes their town stand out and know why their town should be a tourist destination along the trail. Solimar has worked on other geotourism projects like the Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council in Arizona and Four Corners, USA.

All this hard work from the collaboration among the stakeholders led to the travel website (lewisandclark.travel), a visitor themed interactive guide to exploring the LCNHT. 

What is LewisandClark.Travel?

The travel website for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail provides domestic and international visitors with a variety of tools like the interactive map to help plan their vacation. The interactive guided map helps visitors plan their trip depending on five different regions. 

The geotourism program for the LCNHT is targeted toward travelers who seek authentic travel and historical experiences, but also towards those who care about the preservation of the destination’s history and culture. Because their willingness to pay on vacations is, these travelers are more likely to support small local businesses during their trip. They are more easily encouraged to stay at local hotels and inns, shop at independent businesses, eat locally, and interact with the host communities. The proceeds from those spending behaviors would better benefit the local communities and Native American nations placed along the trail. 

ohio river aerial shot along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Navigating the website

With an increase in local shops, restaurants and sites along the LCNHT, there is so much to see and do. There is something for everyone on the trail. And below are some sections of the website that can help structure your trip: 

Travelers can plan their trip according to where they want to go. If you are interested in outdoor adventure, you can always lose yourself in an Arbor Day themed adventure park.  The examples and options to plan your trip are virtually (no pun intended) endless. You could also structure your trip around specific events, like the Amelia Earhart Festival held every summer in Kansas, or if you’re a foodie you can always try out the chocolate crawl in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

There’s truly something for everyone on the trail! Whether you’re looking to discover new cultures, learn history, or discover new shops, traveling the LCNHT will help you discover new things. 

And the best part of it is that your trip doesn’t have to be cut short. There are many charming local options for lodgings to rest and relax before starting the next day of your expedition. From famous local bed and breakfasts to campgrounds, why stay in a run of the mill corporate hotel chain when you can enhance your experience by staying with welcoming locals?

Check out www.lewisandclark.travel to plan your next road trip along this historic trail.

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