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Presentation to encourage the formation of a New River Gorge Geotourism Stewardship Council

Presentation to encourage the formation of a New River Gorge Geotourism Stewardship Council



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  • Ask how audience used to plan travel – answer is maps, tour books, calling friends. This gets audience participation right from the start.
  • Three overlapping styles of tourism. Each has a different relationship to the place where it occurs.
  • “ Touring” style tourism tends to have fewer negative impacts on the locale while providing more benefit for local businesses and residents; is about all the qualities that add up to character of place.
  • R and R tourism (rest & recreation) depends on lakes, beaches, mountain slopes, but NOT on human character of a place. The human aspects of a place are purely optional. A resort may choose to include them, or not. R and R encourages resort sprawl and can literally change the face of the earth, particularly as resorts and vacation homes spread along seacoasts and mountainsides, eroding physical beauty. You can see it in satellite photos. This is a major development issue.
  • You need the beaches, the climate, …
  • … the ski slopes, the lakes or rivers. (This is Vail, Colorado, now a 30-mile-long linear city of often-empty condos—yet so expensive that much of the workforce cannot afford to live there.)
  • Entertainment-style’s typically heavy footprint means it should be sited where it will do the least harm and most good—not in a place of intrinsic beauty, natural value, or historic interest, but rather near economically needy city neighborhoods or rural areas with little else of tourist interest.
  • Las Vegas. In many ways, a desert is a pretty good place for this kind of tourism. But it too tends to sprawl, as Las Vegas does, unless contained. Sprawl erodes other geotourism assets—environment, scenery, traditional communities, and in this case, water.
  • This is a minor example of the sort of thing that has sprung up right next to the Great Smokies national park in the States. Fast food franchises, cheap entertainment, and souvenirs made not in North Carolina, but in China.
  • When tourism development is unmanaged and unguided, the market forces of supply often begin to change the character of the place. Eventually it loses many of the qualities that attracted people in the first place. The “unspoiled” place becomes spoiled.
  • ALL geotourism must be sustainable, but geotourism goes beyond sustainability to focus on assets of the place—on enhancing and interpreting them. Manufactured, “entertainment style” tourism may not be geotouristic or place-based,but it still needs to lighten its environmental footprint.
  • So geotourism is more than ecotourism, which is traditionally nature-based; more than sustainable tourism because it speaks to the possibility of enhancing unique aspects of a place.
  • As a multifaceted program concept, geotourism presents different advantages to different groups. Presentations can explore what is of most interest to any given audience, while still stressing constituency-building.
  • Yes, there is! NGT and TIA (now USTA) teamed up to find out in a landmark survey. This is what we believe to be the first study that asked Americans about the activities they do while traveling and then correlated these answers with their attitudes about sustainability and place-based activities. We found that over half of the American traveling public think it’s harder to find unspoiled places than it used to be; 3/4 say they don’t want their visits to harm the environment.
  • Cluster analysis revealed Four of eight segments did most of the travel and spent most of the money; from the destination’s point of view, these are the most important segments Three of these four, plus one more, were very interested in sustainability; THESE are the geotourists; they enjoy aspects of a place that make it distinctive, unique; they are more likely to take measures to protect the environment while they travel. (The “self-indulgents”? Those are the EGOtourists, uncaring about sustaining people or place.)
  • Household income and number of trips by segment; Four geotourist segments totalling well over 55 million adults and control half the household income of all US travelers. It’s a GOOD market!
  • Let folks read this slide. Only emphasize a few of the underlined words. Summarize by saying all these add up to a whopping 50Million travelers who are looking for something different – something authentic. That is where Nat Geo comes in.
  • This PPT is organized by strategic lines of activity. Destinations can pursue the four tracks of a geotourism strategy; all should be ongoing. We’ll look at these tracks, and just some of the principles as they apply [not in Charter order].
  • Adding insult to injury . . ecotourism is supposed to PROTECT the landscape.
  • Quick touch here. I know, I know – I need the Yellowstone MapGuide, not the SW Desert.
  • GeoConsensus is a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that now powers Geotourism MapGuide websites.
  • The new easy-to-use GeoConsensus tool provides an efficient, flexible way to collect submissions from different places in the region. Working with NatGeo guidelines, the local editors review and prepare the submissions for publication on the website, available to the world of tourists. If cobranded with NatGeo, the site will also have a direct link with the NatGeo site and its 10,000,000 unique visitors per month.
  • National Geographic then takes over, fact-checking, writing articles on the history, heritage and people of the Sierra, editing the nominations, and designing the map and interactive website.
  • How a page might look for a proposed coast-of-Norway project.
  • CSD presence on Traveler’s website speaks directly to consumers while supporting geotourism efforts (whether or not NGS is involved).
  • Materials disseminated by Norway with NGS sign-off.
  • The final step is thinking beyond the map. How can we use the geotourism initiative--the MapGuide and website, and the Geotourism Council--to help promote prosperity in the Sierra?

4 4-11 nrg gsc presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Geotourism for West Virginia
    • New River Gorge GeoCouncil April 2011
    • geo  tour  ism n: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, culture, asthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents
  • 2. 2000 NGS Launches Geotourism
    • Geotourism MapGuides & Websites
    • Geotourism Charter for destination leadership
    • Focused on the fabric of local communities
    • Spotlights local culture, history, values, places
    • Goal – provide an authentic travel experience
    • Locally driven – you & me
    • Mission– Protect the world’s distinctive places through wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship
  • 4. Touring-style tourism Relies on human and physical character of place.
    • sightseeing
    • history
    • nature
    • scenery
    • hiking / Nordic skiing
    • local shopping
    • typical cuisine
    • photography
    • culture & festivals
    • Diffuse impact
    • Supports small businesses
    • Requires protecting nature and heritage
    • Needs architecture, landscapes, culture unique to the locale.
  • 5. R & R tourism Depends only on physical character of place.
    • coastal resorts
    • golf
    • downhill skiing
    • water sports
    • vacation homes
    • Risk of sprawl
    • Environmental impacts
    • Opportunity for architecture, landscaping, cuisine, day tours, that suit the locale.
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8. Entertainment-style tourism Manufactured attractions that do not depend on character of place.
    • theme parks
    • outlet malls
    • amusement parks
    • convention centers
    • sports arenas
    • casinos
    • Changes nature of locale; high impact.
    • High employment generator.
    • Mass tourism; high traffic.
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11. DESTINATION STYLE DRIFT . . . if development unchecked, unguided Unspoiled destination SPOILED ? Touring R & R Entertain- ment
  • 12. Tourism and sustainability SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: First,do no harm people, profit, planet
    • Overcrowding
    • Lower quality of experience
    • Loss of distinctiveness
    • Erosion of culture and environment
    UNSUSTAINABLE TOURISM GEOTOURISM: Now, celebrate the place Chain hotels, resorts, malls, etc
  • 13. Geotourism What More and More People Want From Travel
    • Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its • environment, • culture, • aesthetics, • heritage, and • the well-being of its residents.
  • 14. From eco- to geo- All place-based types of tourism = the ENTIRE destination Manage tourism so that it pays to protect the place, not destroy it . Sightseeing Local cuisine Cultural tourism Nature-based tourism Heritage tourism Green tourism GEOTOURISM Agri- tourism
  • 15. geotourism Tourists— How to get more out of my trip; how to be a good visitor. Presevationist/conservationists— How tourism can protect (not destroy) our distinctive assets. Residents— How tourism can help us, enrich our lives. Politicians— How we can create prosperity, boost our govt’s popularity. Tourism promoters— How we can claim success. Tourism businesses— How we can grow and thrive. A constituency of stewardship
  • 16. The Geotourists
  • 17.  
  • 19. New Trends in Travel
    • TIA-National Geographic Study in 2002
      • 73% want clean, unpolluted environment
      • 80% want outstanding scenery
      • 61% believe their trip is better if it preserves natural, historic, and cultural sites
      • 62% (95M) key to learn about other cultures
      • 54% want places off the beaten track , local places
      • 41% want an authentic travel experience
  • 20. A Geotourism Strategy geotourism assets Education
    • Identify • Sustain • Develop • Market
  • 21. “ Eco” on a billboard?!!
  • 22. NGS Geotourism Deliverables
      • Printed MapGuide
      • Website developed , hosted, and co-branded by National Geographic Maps Division
  • 23. Geotourism MapGuides
    • Characteristics
    • National Geographic co-brand with local geotourism stewardship council.
    • Council helps communities submit content for the map, within NGS guidelines; NGS makes final selection.
    • Dual purpose: 1. Creates a marketing/educational map; 2. Serves as an awareness-raising catalyst for the people of the place.
  • 24.  
  • 25. Geotourism Websites now employ
  • 26. A Powerful Tool for Telling the Stories of your Places Online Full Multi-Media with Images, Video, Audio, and More Flexible and Highly Customized Content & Story Development Dynamic, Fully-Integrated Mapping
  • 27. GeoConsensus System Overview Destination’s Geotourism Website Geotourism Stewardship Council determines content model Content Contributors Site Visitors and Subscribers Portal editor NatGeo 14M/month
  • 28. How it Works NatGeo 14M/month
  • 29. National Geographic Maps Division
    • Reviews the nominations and edits the material
    • Works with Geo Council to develop themes
    • Creates the print & online map; designs the website
    • Promotes the launch of the project
    • 3 site visits
  • 30.  
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33. NG News NG Traveler magazine Links to int’l editions and channels Guidebooks . . . linked to nationalgeographic.com 14 million visitors/month NG Traveler Geotourism MapGuide sites GPS-enabled handhelds CSD Website
  • 34. Tourism offices pick up the theme
  • 35. Geotourism Benefits
    • Destination Stewardship
    • Non-traditional authentic assets featured
      • Birding, Ag-touring, Historic, Cultural, Working landscapes
    • Increased Tourism
      • National Geographic Branding
      • Target responsible tourists
    • Travelers are more resource conscious
      • Focus on resource protection, sustainability, authenticity
    • Jobs are created
  • 36. A Geotourism Strategy for West Virginia
    • Apply
    • Review
    • Educate
    • Identify and Promote
    • Assess
    • Plan
    • Implement
    • Monitor and Evaluate
  • 37.
    • Objective 1 : Research and Visioning 
    • Research on local residents and travelers attitudes, behaviors, and preferences.
    • Formation of GSC’s in each targeted region.
    • Develop implementation plan
    • Objective 2 : Education, Asset Inventory, and Assessment
    • Educational workshops throughout each targeted region
    • Geotourism assets nominated for the Geotourism for WV Website
    • First Impressions for Geotourism Assessments.
    • Objective 3 : Promotion and Planning
    • NGS co-branded Geotourism for West Virginia Website goes live
    • Focus Groups for Geotourism planning sessions
    • Additional tourism regions targeted to participate
  • 38. Geotourism for West Virginia
    • Pilot in NRG and Eastern Panhandle
    • TGA Project Coordinator
    • Statewide Advisory Council
    • Regional Geotourism Stewardship Councils
      • Support stewardship, Sign Geotourism Charter
      • Local coordination – volunteers, VISTA, intern, etc.
      • Help eduate
      • Encourage local nominations
      • Balanced content: arts, culture, places, geology, history, …
    • National Geographic
      • Fact checking, editorial work, cartography, website content development, TA
  • 39. What is Project Status?
    • Proposal from NGS to develop website and provide technical assistance
    • Seeking funding for pilot
    • Need letters of support from pilot regions
    • Potential timetable
      • Launch summer/fall 2011
      • Fall through Winter– Solidify Council, Workshops, and website nominations
  • 40. How Can You Help?
    • Agree to serve on the NRG GSC
    • Letter of support
    • Support or resources you can provide?
    • Direct or indirect funding opportunities?
  • 41. Think beyond the map How to promote prosperity in the New River Gorge?
    • Sustain local businesses and communities
    • Restore natural environment
    • Enhance the well-being of local residents