Geotourism

Geotourism is a type of tourism at places of geological interest and includes nature-based attractions. Sustainable or responsible tourism is an integral part of geotourism, a term first defined in Britain. National Geographic also attaches a geographical importance to geotourism. It emphasizes on the conservation of the geographical character of a place beyond simply its geological features. It involves sustaining and enhancing the identity of the territory based on its geology, culture, environment, heritage, natural beauty and last but not the lease, the welfare of its residents. The classification of travel and tourism into different categories is a recent phenomenon, driven by the United Nations, other institutions and the requirements of the travel industry. The International Congress of Geotourism was convened by UNESCO in Arouca Geopark in Portugal in 2011. The discussions took place around the principles put forward by National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. The convention ended with the Arouca Declaration whose second resolution is as follows: “Geological tourism is a basic tool for the conservation, dissemination and cherishing of the history of Life on Earth, including its dynamics and mechanisms. It enables visitors to understand a past of 4600 million years so as to view the present from another perspective and project possible shared futures for the Earth and humankind”.

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