The DarkSky Approved Lodging Program now certifies lodging facilities with responsible outdoor lighting at night

Posted by Johann Nacario — April 18, 2024 — In January, DarkSky International officially launched the highly anticipated DarkSky Approved Lodging Program. This new program offers lodging facilities with naturally dark skies and responsible outdoor lighting at night the opportunity to join the acclaimed and growing list of places officially certified by DarkSky International.

DarkSky Approved Lodging

Image courtesy of DarkSky

The DarkSky Approved Lodging Program sets a new standard in the travel industry, encouraging hospitality companies to actively participate in safeguarding the night from the damaging effects of light pollution while providing their guests with an awe-inspiring and educational experience under pristine dark skies.

The program is being launched at a time when astrotourism — tourism centered on traveling to destinations with ideal conditions for stargazing and observing celestial events — is at an all-time high. Currently estimated at half a billion dollars annually worldwide, the astrotourism industry and phenomenon has been recently highlighted in magazines such as Condé Nast TravelerForbes, and National Geographic.

Places dark enough to experience the awe and wonder of a star-filled night sky are dwindling, making such places highly sought-after travel destinations. With light pollution growing at an alarming rate, nearly 10 percent each year, 80 percent of the world’s population now lives beneath light-polluted skies (99 percent for those living in Europe and the United States).

DarkSky Approved Lodging for outdoor lighting 1st recipient

Under Canvas, a leader in upscale outdoor hospitality, is the first company to receive this new independent third-party certification. Image courtesy of DarkSky

Unfortunately, the growing astrotourism industry is being threatened by its own popularity. With more people traveling to these dark sky localities, increased tourism infrastructure is adding to growing light pollution in these often rural areas. The DarkSky Approved Lodging Program provides a trusted solution.

With more than 210 certified places worldwide, encompassing parks, reserves, sanctuaries, urban areas, and communities, DarkSky Approved Lodging is the newest addition to DarkSky’s award-winning International Dark Sky Places conservation program.

Under Canvas, the leader in upscale outdoor hospitality, is the first company to receive this new certification. This independent third-party certification is now available to similar lodging and camping facilities that meet DarkSky’s strict guidelines that evaluate and address the impacts of artificial lighting at night, ensuring the preservation of these dark sky locations and the unique and awe-inspiring experiences they provide to their guests.

DarkSky International is a trusted organization within the astronomy and conservation communities, with a well-known brand identity and a robust public following. Becoming DarkSky Approved is guaranteed to elevate the reputation of any hospitality company that attains this prestigious status, notes the group.