Handbook of Geotourism
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Handbook of Geotourism

Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

Ross Dowling and David Newsome present an original, substantial and much-needed contribution to the field which will further our understanding of geotourism in theory and practice. This Handbook defines, characterises and explores the subject through a range of international perspectives and case studies, identifying geotourism as a rapidly emerging form of urban and regional sustainable development.
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Chapter 12: The potential contribution of geotourism in Africa

Michael F. Thomas and Asfawossen Asrat

Abstract

Although broad-based tourism is well established in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and to some extent in South Africa, across the rest of the continent there is an emphasis on wildlife and cultural tourism. Sustainability concerns focus mainly on habitat loss and support for rural communities. The single UNESCO Geopark in Morocco reflects the wider lack of development of geotourism in Africa. Yet there are limitless opportunities to experience and explain the distinctive landscapes of this mainly tropical and partly arid continent. The geological categories of African landscapes are illustrated as geotourism ‘targets’ and the cultural significance of geological and geomorphological features and landscapes are acknowledged. Resource issues are considered in terms of information sources, access and infrastructure development, community involvement and management. The potential for geoparks and important heritage issues are considered in the context of fresh ideas including the ‘Africa Alive Corridors’ initiative.

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