Although modern geotourism, as a form of sustainable geoheritage tourism, was only recognized as such in the 1990s, its roots lie in the seventeenth century and the Grand Tour with its domestic equivalents. At that time, a few elite travellers recorded their experiences of landscapes, natural wonders, quarries and mines. Such travellers’ observations were supplemented by those of the antiquarians for much of the eighteenth century; at that century’s close, the first modern geologists were recording their observations. The nineteenth century witnessed an explosion in public interest and engagement with geology, and field excursions were provided by the burgeoning natural history and geology societies. By the close of the nineteenth century, the Romantic movement had successfully promoted wild landscapes to a newly expanding urban population. The development of the Grand Tour and the landscape aesthetic movements, the various influential institutions, key personalities and locations are considered insofar as they provide an overview of the background to historical geotourism. All are underpinned by a theoretical consideration of the geotourism paradigm and how geotourism historical studies can contextualize modern geotourism.
Figures & Tables
Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism
Geotourism, as a form of sustainable geoheritage tourism, was defined and developed, from the early 1990s, to contextualize modern approaches to geoconservation and physical landscape management. However, its roots lie in the late seventeenth century and the emergence of the Grand Tour and its domestic equivalents in the eighteenth century. Its participants and numerous later travellers and tourists, including geologists and artists, purposefully explored wild landscapes as‘geotourists’.
The written and visual records of their observations underpin the majority of papers within this volume; these papers explore some significant geo-historical themes, organizations, individuals and locations across three centuries, opening with seventeenth century elite travellers and closing with modern landscape tourists. Other papers examine the resources available to those geotourists and explore the geotourism paradigm.
The volume will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, historians of science, tourism specialists and general readers with an interest in landscape history.