Welcome to Alaska Geotourism
The Alaska Geotourism Collaboration, and the Alaska GeoTourism Alliance /non-profit 501(c)(3), is an initiative originally convened by University of Alaska faculty and program specialists. It now includes rural tourism business and community leaders. The focus is on identifying viable rural economic development management strategies that maximize beneficial tourism for their communities and seek to further good destination stewardship. Another outcome is to provide a source of information to re-introduce Alaska gateway communities to the US and international geotourism communities.
Alaska Geotourism Mission Statement
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.” Alaska Geotourism is an economic approach for maximizing beneficial tourism and furthering good destination stewardship. —Alaska Geotourism Charter
Excerpted from the Alaska Geotourism Charter:
Alaska geotourism approach is all-inclusive, focusing not only on the environment, but also on the diversity of the cultural, historic, and scenic assets of Alaska, and also recognizes the potential of geotourism strategies to enhance economic and workforce development opportunities for Alaska . . . .
Alaska’s geotourism approach seeks to bring recognition to Alaska’s many geotourism efforts (current and on-going) at both the national and international levels with an Alaska identity and pride, stressing what is authentic and unique to Alaska.
Download and read the complete Alaska Geotourism Charter, January 2014 (pdf)
What is geotourism?
The holistic geotourism approach is designed to maximize tourism benefits for a destination community, minimize negative impacts, and build a responsible tourism strategy that celebrates and builds on sense of place.
Definition of geotourism put forth by National Geographic and the Travel Industry Association of America (now USTA):
geo·tour·ism n (1997): tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Note—”Geology,” “Landscapes,” and other distinctive and authentic destination attributes may be added to the definition as appropriate.