What is Geotourism?
Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographic character of a place, its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Geotourism encompasses a range of travel including culture and heritage, history, food, nature, adventure, the outdoors, water, music, and arts.
Who is involved?
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (NHT) Geotourism Program covers the length of the Trail from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. It is a collaboration between the National Park Service (NPS) and Solimar International (a sustainable tourism consulting firm) in partnership with a number of other organizations and individuals at the local, state, and national levels along the Trail.
How will the Geotourism program be developed?
The project engages partners, communities, American Indian Nations, and visitors in shared environmental and cultural heritage stewardship. A website, https://LewisandClark.Travel, hosts locally generated content—including stories and information from local tourism stakeholders and residents about tourism sites, attractions, and businesses. The website provides the traveling public with information about authentic local places and experiences to visit along the Lewis and Clark NHT.
The NPS is committed to sustaining and promoting this program. Additionally, a Stewardship Coalition is being formed of local representatives, who will encourage community participation in the nomination process; ensure the nominations reflect the diversity of the region; identify themes; and work with NPS to edit nominations, design the website, and support and promote the overall program.
What is special about the MapGuide Website?
The best travel advice comes from the people who live there. Featuring a comprehensive interactive map, the website highlights attractions, businesses, activities, and experiences distinctive to the areas along the Lewis and Clark NHT. Website users can create accounts that let them organize and save trip plans and points of interest. It will also feature a special “local voices” section of stories, quotes, and essays by local residents portraying special features, local flavor, and feelings towards their home region.
What are the goals of the Geotourism Program?
- Provide the public with resources to better experience Lewis and Clark NHT.
- Bring diverse partners along Lewis and Clark NHT together to re-establish partnerships and renew collaborative efforts.
- Engage Native American tribes along the Trail, developing new opportunities for them to share their stories with travelers in a way compatible with their goals and sentiments.
- Support local small businesses and raise awareness of the wealth of amenities and experiences offered by communities along Lewis and Clark NHT.
How do I participate in the Geotourism Program?
You are invited to nominate your favorite places of interest, local businesses, events, music, stories, etc. to be included on the website! Your nomination will support these places by helping to promote travel to the region. It is FREE to be featured on the website.
Where has this been done before?
Geotourism MapGuides have been developed for many sites within the U.S.A and around the world, including: