Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome
Chapter 21: Geotourism and geoparks
This chapter explores the formation of the Geoparks Movement in the 1990s to the worldwide movement today with 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries. Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. Geoparks combine geology with the empowerment of local communities and create opportunities for sustainable tourism. Geoparks personify sustainable development in action. They empower local communities and give them the opportunity to develop cohesive partnerships with the common goal of promoting the area’s significant geological processes, features, periods of time, historical themes linked to geology, or outstanding geological beauty. Just as importantly, the development of geoparks driven by geotourism, encourages regional investment, creates new businesses and jobs and generates financial benefits to regional communities.
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