chapter  13
13 Pages

Geotourism’s issues and challenges

ByRoss Dowling, David Newsome

With the world’s areas of biodiversity under threat, we believe that the time is ready to help capitalize on tourism’s natural focus, but to move it away from this emphasis on the biotic environment and towards a more integrated approach with consideration given to the abiotic attributes. Thus ecotourism generally, and wildlife tourism specifically, could benefit from the development of a sustainable geotourism industry. In essence, ecotourism already embraces elements of geotourism, with its emphasis on natural areas, environmental sensitivity and consumer education. On the other hand, wildlife tourism would benefit from an interest in geotourism, as this would provide another option for nature-based tourists wishing to make meaningful journeys to natural environments. This diffusion of tourism would take the ‘heat’ off the biotic hotspots and instead foster an interest in appropriately planned, developed and managed tourism to some of the world’s interesting and diverse landforms (as well as the activities that shape them). However, regardless of whether or not this occurs, the interest in geological tourism has been on the rise for some time.