National Geographic and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter Introduce Eastern Newfoundland

24 Apr 2013

By National Geographic
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Geotourism: Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and well-being of its residents.

Travelers seeking unspoiled places and culturally authentic experiences now have a valuable new resource in a comprehensive “Geotourism MapGuide” and website for Canada’s Eastern Newfoundland region. The landmark project has taken two years to plan and execute and is a historically significant asset for everyone who visits or lives in the region.

The Geotourism MapGuide highlights the enchanted landscapes and enduring people of Eastern Newfoundland. It is designed to showcase to local, national and international audiences the natural, cultural and historic attractions that define the region.

National Geographic’s acclaimed mapmaking and sustainable tourism expertise helped produce the Geotourism website with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter (CPAWS-NL); representatives of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation; the City of St. John’s; Parks Canada; CapeRace Cultural Adventures; Ocean Quest Adventures; and regional communities and organizations. Funding for the project was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development; Parks Canada; and the City of St. John’s.

The Eastern Newfoundland area designated for the map stretches from the outer boundaries of Terra Nova National Park, the Burin Peninsula in the south and all areas on the island eastward, including communities and private and public lands. Since the project was launched on Oct. 12, 2011, locals have nominated for inclusion more than 800 of their favorite points of interest; historic, cultural and natural landmarks; events; artisans; and attractions that capture the region’s unique character and beauty. The MapGuide will be distributed in outlets throughout the Eastern Newfoundland region. The website may be viewed at www.nlgeotourism.com. Residents and visitors may continue to nominate new sites, events and special places for the website, which will be dynamic and constantly changing.

“The Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide and website showcase what makes the Eastern Newfoundland region so culturally and geographically significant,” said James Dion, Sustainable Tourism program manager, Solimar International, in partnership with National Geographic Maps. “More than ever, this project underscores the importance of conserving the region’s tremendous scenic, historic and cultural assets for future generations.”

The Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide:

  • Is one of only 20 Geotourism programs worldwide to date.
  • Showcases many of the 800-plus sites nominated by locals.
  • Is a resource designed to improve local, rural economic development.
  • Provides access to a niche national market of 65 million “geotourists.”
  • Will grow with the addition of hundreds of more sites and events over the years.
  • Highlights the resources of the Eastern Newfoundland region encompassing a major portion of the Eastern and Avalon peninsulas.
  • Provides a long-term resource for promoting Eastern Newfoundland to the nation and the world.

“CPAWS-NL and the Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism partners see this project as a great opportunity to work closely with other groups in the region to promote responsible tourism,” said Tanya Edwards, project manager and co-executive director of CPAWS-NL.

“The Geotourism strategy for Eastern Newfoundland will strengthen the case for responsible, meaningful tourism by embracing all tourism assets uniquely distinctive to the locale. Effective stewardship of these economic assets will produce benefits in a way that encourages the type of investment needed to preserve Newfoundland’s unique heritage. We’re thrilled to see the partnership that has developed with National Geographic and local organizations in this regard,” said Ken Sooley, general manager of CapeRace Cultural Adventures.

The National Geographic Society has worked with community-based alliances to develop similar Geotourism MapGuides and websites in other regions around the world. Geotourism MapGuide projects have been completed or are ongoing in the Central Cascades (Oregon, Washington), the Crown of the Continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Montana), Four Corners (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah), Greater Yellowstone (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), Guatemala, Lakes to Locks Passage (New York, Quebec), Newfoundland, Portugal’s Douro Valley, Redwood Coast (California), Sierra Nevada (California, Nevada), and the Tennessee River Valley (Smoky Mountains through Knoxville and south to Chattanooga and north Georgia).

Founded in 1915 as the Map Department of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Maps is responsible for illustrating the world around us through the art and science of mapmaking. Today, National Geographic Maps continues this mission by creating the world’s best wall maps, outdoor recreation maps, travel maps, atlases and globes that inspire people to care about and explore their world. For more information, visit natgeomaps.com.