What if destinations were sustained and enhanced by the people who visited them? Lake Tahoe, like many special places can no longer afford visitors who do not become stewards at some level. Geotourism inspires visitors with locally hosted activities, that deepen the touch while reducing degrading impact. Long term prosperity = preservation.
WHY: While the concept of geotourism started in Australia , National Geographic built a program around it to help destinations use tourism to become sustainable. The program is active in 45 tourist destinations around the world – 7 here in the US (Appalachia , NE King, Crown, Sonora , Yellow, North Coast , Cascades). 5 Federal Agencies: BLM, US Forest, BIA, Fish and Game, Wildlife & Parks Rec) have signed an MOU with NGCSD supporting and endorsing geotourism for all US destinations. NG also surveyed over 100M visitors and found: 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. All place-based types of tourism =the ENTIRE destination
2008, 5 Departments of the Interior (USFS, BIA, Fish/Wildlife, Parks/Rec and BLM) signed an MOU with NGCSD to support the development of geotourism, (following the 12 principles and 4 steps) in ALL US DESTINATIONS on Forest Service and Indian Lands. This was signed by the head of each of the 5 Depts as a federal and public assurance for 10 years of support.
Life-changing travel enrolls visitors in the unique story of a place has become a profitable reality for world-class destinations. NGCSD traveler surveys have found: 74% of international travelers were geotourists 70% felt our connection to nature was critical to our survival 40% would do more for the environment if they knew what to do 58M are looking for authenticity when they travel 28M would pay more to see places that limited access (due to sensitivity)
74% of International travelers are seeking a sense of place, they want to ensure the places they visit will be sustained and maintained, they would like to know that their travel sustained and enhanced the places they visit – they are geotourism . In US the % is closer to 55%
In April 2004, the National geographic Society hired 200 travel experts to survey the top 115 destinations in the world and evaluate them based on the 12 geotourism principles. A second survey, on North American park destinations appeared in 2005; the third, on World Heritage destinations, appeared in Nov/Dec. 2006. All are posted on the NG Traveler web site.
Intended to be signed by political jurisdictions—countries, states, counties.
Integrity of place: From the visitors perspective…how well do you enhance distinctive geographical character reflecting natural and cultural heritage, to encourage market differentiation and cultural pride.
2. International codes: From the visitors perspective…how well do you Adhere to World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics established by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
3. Market selectivity: From the visitors perspective…how well do you Encourage stewardship in tourism market segments most likely to provide insight relevant to the distinctive character of the locale. (on the left) No character of place here! Where are you? This hotel could be anywhere palm trees can grow. It can be undersold by any similar hotel with lower costs. Yet many development planners think this is the model of what tourism should be. VS…(on the right) Antigua, Guatemala: unique volcanic setting and well-protected colonial architecture.
4. Market diversity: From the visitors perspective…how well do you Encourage a full range of appropriate food and lodging facilities to maximize economic resiliency over both the short and long term. This is a Repurposed farm building in Norway
5. Tourist satisfaction: From the visitors perspective…how well do you Ensure that satisfied and excited tourists bring new vacation stories home that will inspire others - providing continuing demand for the destination. The Water Trail gets people on the lake for a magical day
6. Community involvement: From the visitors perspective…how well do you Base tourism on community resources to promote and provide a distinctive, honest visitor experience and market their locales effectively. Trails and Vistas takes visitors on an hour walk through the Public Lands where they encounter creative singing, dancing, art and music along the way, while learning about the value of public land trust. It has become so popular, it books out months ahead of the Sept weekend.
…but is actually a brand new home-and-hotel resort in St Martin, using what the French developers calls “gentle architecture.” At the time of this picture all these buildings were less than 10 years old. A covenant and good sense prevented concrete high-rises at this beachside location.
9. Land use: Anticipate development pressures and apply techniques to prevent undesired overdevelopment and degradation to retain a diversity of natural and scenic environments and ensure continued resident access to waterfronts. This coordinated development effort ensured the local housing did not detract from the loacl nature beauty of the place
Monterey did a fabulous job turning one of the old canneries on John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row into a world famous interpretive marine center, helping protect a piece of history, while providing a very rich visitor experience and revenue for the local area.
Art George, a Datohmu (Spiritual Leader) and Allen Garcia – are both of the Washo people There are 4 indigenous native Americans in El Dorado: Washo, Miwok,…
The key message for audiences with their minds on only promotion or development.
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).
Tell great stories. Enhance sense of place, through • Geotourism Stewardship Council, • private enterprise, • conservation and preservation• civic participation
Build on the character of your place based on community assets
Tell great stories. Enhance sense of place, through • Geotourism Stewardship Council, • private enterprise, • conservation and preservation• civic participation The benefit of being connected to NGCSD – is they promote your destination to the growing international market of geotourist looking for this type of travel. Materials disseminated by Norway with NGS sign-off.
So what do you think?
tourism pays to protect … not destroy
Percent of the 13.6 million
U.S. adults who traveled
3+ times in the
past 3 years
The geotourism test:The geotourism test:
Are we sustaining orAre we sustaining or
enhancing the uniqueenhancing the unique
quality of our place?quality of our place?