Through Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry is working consciously to develop the tourist industry.
As part of the work to promote a sustainable tourist industry and conserve the environment, heritage and local culture, Norway signed National Geographic's Geotourism charter in the autumn of 2005.
The research institutes Vestlandsforskning and Høyskolen i Sogn and Fjordane have joined forces in a common science programme and a research centre for geotourism and sustainable tourism in Sogndal, Norway.
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". The basis for this definition is a charter that the National Geographic Society of America has prepared for geotourism.
Every locality in Norway has its own unique geological characteristics. These features can be traced back to the way in which natural forces created the landscape. Accordingly, geological understanding should represent an important component in geotourism.
However, for a long time, geologists have used the expression "geotourism" as a description of "tourism surrounding geological attractions and destinations". The dual definition of geotourism has thus created confusion.
Hence, we have chosen not to use the expression geotourism in the meaning "tourism surrounding geological attractions and destinations" on this website.
Published: 21. January 2008