Geotourism is a nature-based tourism that is about exploring Earth and its features. In addition tourists that are interested in geotourism, or as they called ‘geotourists’, are visiting active features, i.e. erupting volcanoes.
As travelling is changing, today tourists become more interested in niche tourism. International tourist arrivals are increasing every years and it make sense that tourist can have more choices.
Even though tourists are still choosing mass tourism and the three s: sea, sand and sun, constantly more of them are choosing other interests in their travels.
Geotourism and sustainability
In more specific the term ‘geotourism’ is the tourism that enhances the geographical character of a place, its environment but also culture, heritage and the well-being of its residents. This term is given by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Many geologists and other geotourism researchers believe that is essential to make geology and geological heritage if the place the centerpiece component.
However almost all geotourism experts agree that this type of tourism is sustainable as define above.
On the one hand environmental protection and promotion is important to establish geotourism. In addition environmental conservation is more comprehensive to locals as it becomes the ‘product’ that appeals tourists.
On the other hand economy and job opportunities are only in the rise, especially in remote areas that income flows are low.
Discovering Earth through its people
Earth and its history is in connection with us, the way will live in it. In more specific your culture, habits and lifestyle are influenced by the place you live.
This is happening from the beginning of time, not only us as human. Moreover Earth shape all species, from their form to their history.
For us human, Earth’s diversity results he diversity in nations’ heritages. Therefore every place is unique not only its nature but also its people.
Because of the uniqueness we travel the world to experience the unfamiliar. Locals give so much richness in our experience. They are the ones who know secrets and stories of their home.
Learn nature stories in every step
Far from interesting is to be able to see nature as a huge library. By choosing to learn on the geology, you are diving into the stories on how this place was shaped by the forces of Earth and other external ones, like rain and sun.
When geotourists visit a place, they have the change is see its wonders, like volcanoes, caves and glaciers. In addition they learn the story of making them and also how they affect their own lives.
Therefore this type of tourism is also appealing for schools and universities. It is a combination of environmental education and travelling with the sense of adventure.
Helping local communities to grow
Geotourism is a type of responsible tourism. Hence it help local economies to bloom by increasing tourist arrivals. In addition it also increase job opportunities for residents.
However this is more apparent in remote places that have little financial resources. On the other hand they can provide amazing experiences for travellers.
In this way places that were not appealing by the tourist industry, have now potentials to become resorts. This mainly depends of what the locals offer to travellers.
On the one hand accomodation facilities are essential for tourists without though the demand of luxury hotels. Yet locals need to offer more than that, such as tours and other activities.
Popular destinations in geotourism
Since the 1980s geotourism is on the rising. More and more sites are become facilitators of geotourists.
Mainly geoparks are more commonly providing organised activities in geotourism. Already and many years there is the European Geoparks Network as well as the Global Geoparks Network. In addition there other places such as national parks, eco parks and mining parks.
Geographically Europe and Asia have the vast majority in destinations with a great diversity in places. Secondly America has already many destinations that offer combined other nature-based tourism.
Yet Australia and New Zealand are also quite popular among geotourists. Finally Africa is maybe the most undiscovered continent in regards to geotourism, however it has the potentials to become popular in the future.
Originally published at www.konstantiaachilleos.com