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Geotourism in Volcanic and Geothermal Environments: Playing with Fire?


Volcanic and geothermal landforms have unique features which make them attractive destinations for geotourism, ecotourism and adventure tourism. Vast numbers of volcanic environments worldwide combined with a special geodiversity offer an extensive range of outdoor activities including the opportunity for education about geoheritage as well as an insight into their significant value for regional culture, religion and history. The importance of volcanic and geothermal environments for the tourism sector has been recognised with the development of volcano-based National Parks and more recently, National and Global Geoparks where geomorphosites containing volcanoes which are currently active and volcanoes classed as active due to their past activity during the Holocene as well as geothermal landscapes are promoted as tourist attractions. Given the growing popularity of volcanic and geothermal destinations, it is paramount that management authorities make visits to active environments as safe as possible. To date, there is a paucity of publications in the academic literature on risk management in volcano and geothermal tourism. This article aims to contribute to closing this gap in the tourism literature.

Aerial view of Mount Fuji. Photo source Malcolm Cooper

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Correspondence to Patricia Erfurt-Cooper.

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Erfurt-Cooper, P. Geotourism in Volcanic and Geothermal Environments: Playing with Fire?. Geoheritage 3, 187–193 (2011).

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  • Geological heritage
  • Geothermal environments
  • Geotourism
  • Risk management
  • Visitor safety
  • Volcano tourism