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Lecture about Geotourism Monday 29th August in National Museum of Iceland from 3 pm -17 pm.

 Iceland's economy had been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries since the 1990s with a range of recent new developments. There is a greater interest in developing the tourism sector with recent trends in ecotourism and whale-watching.

However, a new possibility is offered for Iceland’s tourism future in the form of Geotourism which is essentially ‘geological tourism’. Geotourism offers traditional forms of tourism a new approach through the development of its geological assets as tourist attractions to complement existing natural and cultural attractions. Geotourism is generally established by local communities seeking to secure their own futures through sustainable economic development.

Allied to this new form and approach to tourism is the rise of Geoparks, a new form of park which is an initiate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Geoparks are a vehicle which can drive community development through geotourism whilst at the same time fostering conservation and education. They are new type of park which is both a development tool as well as a marketing opportunity with a global brand. Already there are hundreds of national level geoparks, including Katla Geopark in Iceland, and there are 78 global geoparks in 26 countries on six continents.

Thus the development of geotourism and geoparks is offered as a sound complementary form of economic development for Iceland through sustainable tourism.

Professor Ross Dowling, Australia

Professor Ross Dowling is Foundation Professor of Tourism, School of Marketing, Tourism & Leisure, Faculty of Business & Law, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia (www.ecu.edu.au). 

He conducts international research in the fields of geotourism, cruise ship tourism and ecotourism and has over 200 publications. In recent years he has co-authored or co-edited ten books on tourism including three international books on geotourism. He is also the founder and convenor of the Global Geotourism Conference which has been held in Australia (2008), Malayisa (2010) and in Oman (November, 2011).

He is Chair, Australian Geoparks Network, an Advisor to the Asia – Pacific Geoparks Network, and an Advisor to the UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks.

As a Director of Ideology (www.ideology.net.au), he is a consultant on tourism providing advice for the industry in a number of countries around the world. In recent years he has established a Tourism degree for Emirates Airlines, United Arab Emirates; convened a number of International Tourism and Hospitality Conferences in Malaysia; lead an Australian team giving Tourism Industry Development Workshops for the Vietnam Government; completed an extensive lecture tour for the Chinese Government, throughout China, Hong Kong and Macau; and advised on Tourism Development for the Sultanate of Oman.