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.
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.
- European Geoparks Network 2011 Arouca Declaration on Geotourism. www.europeangeoparks.org/?p=223 (6 November 2014).
- Hose, T. 1995 Selling the Story of Britain’s Stone. Environmental Interpretation 10(2):16-17.Google Scholar
- National Geographic 2005 Geotourism Charter www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable/pdf/geotourism_charter_template.pdf (6 November 2014).
- Newsome, D., and R. Dowling (eds.) 2010 Geotourism: The Tourism of Geology and Landscape. Oxford: Goodfellow.Google Scholar