Funding to boost Tahoe geotourism
July 4, 2009
El Dorado County has awarded the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce a $90,000 grant to implement a geotourism program, according to a press statement from consultants GeoSierra.
Geotourism is “tourism that sustains or enhances the unique character of a place – its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and well-being of its local residents,” according to National Geographic.
With the gaming industry struggling, the concept has recently received greater attention at the South Shore as a way to keep visitors coming.
The chamber has hired GeoSierra to start the first phase of the county’s geotourism program, which includes developing an “inventory of El Dorado County’s rich cultural heritage, recreational and natural attractions, the very best and most authentic of which will be promoted on a Web site, printed maps and travel itineraries to attract visitors to spend more time and visit more locations in the county,” according to the statement.
The grant is expected to cover the cost of the inventory, as well as the subsequent phases in which the maps, Web site and itineraries will be developed, said Jacquie Chandler, the Tahoe Basin Geotourism liaison to National Geographic.
“El Dorado County is a world-class destination, but it’s not currently marketing all of its unique tourism assets and attractions to the fullest extent, such as recreational opportunities, agricultural tourism, events, volunteer opportunities and indigenous, historic and heritage sites,” GeoSierra partner Peter Brumis said in a statement. “This effort also aims to spread visitors out in order to preserve some of El Dorado’s over-visited areas, such as Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay.”
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As part of the inventory process, GeoSierra will hold two public workshops at the South Shore this month. The first will take place from 2-4 p.m. on July 21 at the U.S. Forest Service Supervisor’s Office at 35 College Drive.
The second workshop will be from 5-7 p.m. at Valhalla Hall at the Tallac Historic Site, just past Camp Richardson on Highway 89.
Tourism assets can also be nominated online at: http://GeoSierra.org.