What is geotourism? It depends who you ask.
There are two definitions of ‘geotourism’ — one used in Australia (Global Geotourism Conference) and one promoted by National Geographic: “Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.” More details via the PDF file.
“geotourism (n): Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical
character of a place–its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and
the well-being of its residents.” See
Ross Dowling: Geotourism is a new form of tourism based on the geological environment. Whilst ecotourism and biodiversity have been described in the academic literature for over thirty years, geotourism and its attendant concepts of geoheritage, geodiversity, geoconservation, and geotours , is relatively new. Geotourism is defined as tourism which focuses on an area’s geology and landscape as the basis of fostering sustainable tourism development. It begins with an understanding of the Abiotic (non-living) environment, to build greater awareness of the Biotic (living) environment of plants and animals as well as the Cultural environment of people, past and present. It is argued that geotourism offers a new form of sustainable tourism which is more holistic than previous niche forms of tourism.
Ashoka Geotourism 2008
What is geotourism
Geotourism Challenge – Ashoka
entries – 320 from 83 countries
nominations – 509 from 86 countries
comments – 1698 discussion comments