There is little question that the face of travel has changed in recent years. Much of it has been bad for the regular folk who love to travel: skyrocketing oil costs, the plummeting dollar, and the absurdity of over-reaching security measures at the airport have all hit all-time highs (all-time lows may be a better description).

Fortunately, there has been some good. There are more travel options than ever, people are still making plans for their dream destinations, and conscientious travel has finally arrived. I am not sure “conscientious travel is a coined phrase yet — if it becomes one, please give me all the credit.

Coined phrased or not, I see conscientious travel as the most important positive trend in travel. I can tell from the piles of press releases I have arrive in my “in” box on a daily basis. It is the increasing popularity of “green” travel: recycling, alternative and renewable forms of energy, reduced footprint to delicate eco-systems, and respect for the natural world. Of course, “green” also goes hand-in-hand with eco-tourism, and volun-tourism (tourism that gives back) to the locals. Overall, it is a cooperative effort on the part of both traveler and tourism industry to make the many facets of this world a better, more long laster, conscientious place.

ITKT celebrates these ideas by offering a new dedicated section of travel called “Eco-tourism” that will bring the best in “green,” “eco-tourism” and “volun-tourism” into one happy place. The only downside is renaming the section to “Conscientious Travel” at some point in the near future (hint, hint, Jesse the Master Web Designer), which I just thought of two seconds ago.