Encyclopedia of Tourism

Living Edition
| Editors: Jafar Jafari, Honggen Xiao


  • Ross DowlingEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01669-6_93-1

Travel to areas of outstanding natural landscapes or unique landforms is not new. However, the concept of geotourism has only occurred in relatively recent times, and it has been defined by two different standpoints as either “geological” or “geographical” tourism. The former has been characterized by geologists and the latter by the National Geographic Society, leading to a confusion surrounding the definition of geotourism.

Geological tourism

Geotourism is geology-based and was first defined as the provision of interpretive and service facilities to enable tourists to acquire knowledge and understanding of the geology and geomorphology of a site beyond the level of mere esthetic appreciation (Hose 1995). Inherent in this approach is that geotourism is a vehicle to foster geoconservation and an understanding of geological heritage.

Newsome and Dowling (2010) later defined geotourism as a form of tourism that specifically focuses on geology and landscape. Unlike ecotourism, which by...

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  1. Dowling, R. 2013 Global Geotourism – An Emerging Form of Sustainable Tourism. Czech Journal of Tourism 2(2):59-79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. European Geoparks Network 2011 Arouca Declaration on Geotourism. www.europeangeoparks.org/?p=223 (6 November 2014).
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  4. National Geographic 2005 Geotourism Charter www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable/pdf/geotourism_charter_template.pdf (6 November 2014).
  5. Newsome, D., and R. Dowling (eds.) 2010 Geotourism: The Tourism of Geology and Landscape. Oxford: Goodfellow.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business & LawEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia