Crown of the Continent

Crown of the Continent

National Geographic Crown of the Continent Geotourism Mapguide

When you visit Alberta SouthWest you are traveling within the Crown of the Continent.

The "Crown of the Continent" refers to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and the surrounding communities in Alberta, British Columbia and Montana. These regions are working together to develop very special trans-boundary and international visitor experiences.

What is Geotourism?

This is the definition provided by the National Geographic Geotourism portal:

"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."

~ It involves the community. Local businesses and civic groups join to provide a distinctive, authentic visitor experience.

~ It benefits residents economically. Travel businesses hire local workers, and use local services, products, and supplies. When community members understand the benefits of geotourism, they take responsibility for destination stewardship.

~ It supports integrity of place. Destination-savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale. In return, local stakeholders who receive economic benefits appreciate and protect the value of those assets.

~ It respects local culture and tradition. Foreign visitors learn local etiquette, including at least a few courtesy words in the local language. Residents learn how to deal with foreign expectations that may differ from their own.

~ It aims for quality, not quantity. Destinations measure tourism success not just by numbers of visitors, but by length of stay, how they spend their money, and the quality of their experience.

~ Sustainable tourism protects its product-the destination. It avoids the –loved to death– syndrome by anticipating development pressures and applying limits and management techniques that preserve natural habitats, heritage sites, scenic appeal, and local culture.

~ It conserves resources. Environmentally aware travelers patronize businesses that reduce pollution, waste, energy consumption, water usage, landscaping chemicals, and excessive nighttime lighting.

Paper copies of the National Geographic Crown of the Continent Geotourism Mapguide are available at government tourism information centres in Alberta, Montana and British Columbia. They offer loads of information and history and are a great keepsake from your vacation to the 'Crown of the Continent'.

To order your free copy of the Crown of the Continent mapguide click here