CPAWS-NL Launches National Geographic Geotourism Project for Eastern Newfoundland


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOINS CANADIAN PARKS AND WILDERNESS SOCIETY – NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR CHAPTER TO LAUNCH GEOTOURISM PROJECT FOR EASTERN NEWFOUNDLAND
MapGuide to Tell Region’s Authentic Story


WASHINGTON (October 12th, 2011) — National Geographic Maps has joined organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador to launch the first phase of the Newfoundland and Labrador Geotourism Project that will highlight the world-class natural and cultural attractions of Eastern Newfoundland. The project seeks to contribute to the economic health of communities by promoting geotourism: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a
place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. 

A community-based nomination process launched today and will be used to create a National Geographic Geotourism MapGuide for the region. The Eastern Newfoundland area designated for the map stretches from Terra Nova in the north to the Burin Peninsula in the south and all areas on the island eastward, including communities, and private and public lands.

“National Geographic is pleased to have the opportunity to spotlight this region and, in doing so, support and sustain it as one of the treasured natural places on the globe,” said James Dion, business development associate, National Geographic Maps. “The MapGuide will celebrate the area’s abundant scenic, cultural and historical attributes from the unique vantage point of those who live there.”

Local residents and visitors are invited to nominate for inclusion in the MapGuide the landmarks, attractions, activities, events and even local foods that define the region’s character and distinctive appeal. Nominations may be made from Oct 12, 2011 to Jan 12, 2012, at www.nlgeotourism.com. The site nomination process was opened today in the town of Petty Harbour, where Suzanne Dooley, co-executive director of Canadian Parks and Wilderness
Society - Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter (CPAWS-NL) officially announced the Exploring Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism Initiative and asked for public participation.

Public forums and presentations will be conducted in communities throughout Eastern Newfoundland to encourage nominations and community involvement. “Participation by local residents is critical to the project’s success,” said Tanya Edwards,co-executive director of CPAWS-NL. “Our goal is to get nominations from across the region that identify the things people love best, those ‘must see’ places that might range from an incredibly beautiful hike to an atmospheric downtown area with local character.”

Beyond an open-to-the-public nomination process, the development of the MapGuide calls for oversight by a regional committee. The Newfoundland and Labrador Geotourism Stewardship Council represents an assortment of geotourism perspectives, including community leadership, historic preservation, natural resources, public lands management, indigenous peoples, traditional and local arts, agriculture, tourism promotion and local
businesses.

“An inherent benefit of geotourism is connecting diverse interests under a common goal,” said James Dion. “, Forming a regional stewardship council as part of the MapGuide process encourages and builds mutually beneficial partnerships.”

A primary task for the Geotourism Stewardship Council will be to review and sort nomination submissions prior to sending them to National Geographic. National Geographic will have final say on the selected sites.

According to a 2002 study by National Geographic Traveler magazine and the U.S. Travel Association, more than 55 million adults in the United States could be described as “geotourists,” who travel to enjoy the distinctive character of places and are willing to help sustain and enhance those qualities for future visitors.

The National Geographic Society has worked with community-based alliances to develop similar Geotourism MapGuides in other regions around the world. MapGuide projects have been completed or are ongoing in Appalachia, Sierra Nevada (California, Nevada), Central Cascades (Oregon, Washington), Crown of the Continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Montana), Greater Yellowstone (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), California’s Redwood Coast, Four Corners (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah), Lakes to Locks Passage (New York, Quebec), East Tennessee River Valley (Tennessee, Georgia), Guatemala, City of Montreal, Norway, Peru, Sonoran Desert (Arizona, Sonora, Mexico), Douro Valley of Portugal, Baja California, Mexico, and Northeast Kingdom, Vermont.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books;
DVDs; maps; exhibitions; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation, and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.

For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.