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Geotourism a global activity

Dowling, R.K. and Newsome, D. (2010) Geotourism a global activity. In: Dowling, R.K. and Newsome, D., (eds.) Global Geotourism Perspectives. Goodfellow Publishers Limited, Oxford.


Geotourism is sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing the earth’s geological features in a way that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation, and is locally beneficial (Dowling and Newsome, 2006). It is about creating a geotourism product that protects geoheritage, helps build communities, communicates and promotes geological heritage and works with a wide range of different people. Whichever way it is defined or described, the ‘geo’ part in geotourism means geology and geomorphology. The natural resources of geotourism include: landscapes, landforms, rock outcrops, rock types, sediments, soils and crystals. The ‘tourism’ part means visiting geosites, learning, appreciating and engaging. Overall, geotourism comprises the geological elements of ‘form and process’ combined with the components of tourism such as attractions, accommodation, tours, activities, interpretation and planning and management (Figure 1.1). Examples of globally recognized geosite destinations include: the Grand Canyon in the United States of America, the Lulworth Crumple in southern England, Uluru National Park in Australia, Iguazu Falls separating Brazil and Argentina, and the Daxia Landforms in China.

Geotourism is a synergistic form of tourism in which the elements of the landscape and land forms together create a tourist experience that is richer than the sum of its parts, appealing to visitors with diverse interests. It also involves the community when a combination of local businesses and civic groups work together to promote and provide distinctive, authentic visitor experiences. Geotourism may also provide economic and other benefits to local residents such as job creation and income generation as well as added services, products and supplies. When the community understands the beneficial role of geotourism it becomes an incentive for wise destination stewardship.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Goodfellow Publishers Limited
Copyright: (c) Goodfellow Publishers 2010
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