Geotourism is defined as "tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place - its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents."
Geotourism goes beyond "drive through" travel. It involves regional communities in providing the visitor with an authentic, enriching experience. It acquaints tourists with local culture and traditions and offers them in-depth opportunities to enjoy the area's unique natural beauty and biodiversity.
Geotourism benefits the environment by encouraging sound destination stewardship that keeps growth to sustainable levels and limits negative impacts such as overcrowding and resource pollution. It benefits residents by promoting local services and employment. It benefits visitors by informing residents about their needs and expectations.
National Geographic experts collaborate with hand-picked locals to develop unique travel resources to help visitors plan more enriching journeys through interactive online maps, guides, and virtual tours; tuck-in-your-pocket print formats; even mobile apps. All ﬁlled with inside insights and advice on exploring these legendary locations and tips on where to ﬁnd the most awe-inspiring natural beauty; outdoor adventures; ways to engage and volunteer in communities; home-grown festivals and events; museums, galleries, theaters, and interpretive centers; plus favorite spots to stay, eat, and drink.
Explore a sampling of our Geotourism projects below, and contact us if you are interested in developing a Geotourism program for your region.
Interested in a Geotourism Site for Your Area?
Jim Dion is the Sustainable Tourism Program Manager for Solimar International, a partner with National Geographic Maps. His work involves linking the world’s most important tourism destinations to the design capabilities of National Geographic Maps to create innovative maps and interactive websites to increase knowledge about sustainable tourism and foster destination stewardship of cultural, historic, and natural resources.
Before joining Solimar International, Jim helped run the Center for Sustainable Destinations at National Geographic. Prior to that, he directed international ecotourism programs for conservation NGO’s in Mexico, Central America, and Asia, and has lectured at the Technical University of Graz in Austria. James’ interest in linking tourism to conservation and community development is an outgrowth of his more than 15 years of experience as a professional river and wilderness guide/outfitter. He founded and developed locally run sustainable tourism businesses in Europe and North, Central, and South America.
Solimar International in partnership with National Geographic Maps
Sustainable Tourism Program Manager
Tel: (202) 604-2487
E-mail: [email protected]