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Geotourism: A new Form of Tourism utilising natural Landscapes and based on Imagination and Emotion

Jean‐Pierre Pralong (Assistant (young researcher), Institut of Geography, University of Lausanne Humense, Dorigny CH‐1015 Lausanne)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 1 March 2006



Tourists and visitors currently tend to consider environment and the purity of nature, educational tourism, culture and history, large‐ and small‐scale events, and entertainment and fun as crucial issues. For certain specific target groups, these wishes and needs may be satisfied by a new form of tourism called “geotourism”, which is an multi‐interest kind of tourism exploiting natural sites and landscapes containing interesting earth‐science features in a didactic and entertaining way. Relative to demand, a form of tourism based on imagination and emotion, favouring experience and sensations, and explaining the natural environment by playing with its temporal and spatial dimensions may provide opportunities of economic development. Different target groups (e.g. seniors, families, schools) potentially interested in cultural and natural landscapes seem to constitute specific markets to consider. In this sense, on‐site interpretation needs to be more adapted to the visitors' expectations and a more original and striking way of communication has to be used. From a promotional point of view, “geomarketing”, a kind of image communication that explores the temporal and spatial dimensions of the rocks (e.g. minerals, fossils) and forms (e.g. glaciers, caves) of the Earth's surface, may be developed. This will not only generate inquisitiveness among the target groups selected, but also give a clear position to a destination, in order to distinguish itself from similar territories. Of course, product communication must complete this marketing strategy with the creation, promotion and sale of specific and original products, especially for the summer period (from spring to autumn). For instance, a mix of walking, wellness, “agro‐tourism” and “geotourism” may be profitable for regional economic development. Thus, this paper is a conceptual contribution based on a theoretical work and a literature review.



Pralong, J. (2006), "Geotourism: A new Form of Tourism utilising natural Landscapes and based on Imagination and Emotion", Tourism Review, Vol. 61 No. 3, pp. 20-25.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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