The 2010 Geotourism Challenge on Coastal Destinations

Have you worked toward or witnessed a coastal destination’s success in maintaining its unique geographic character in the face of tourism-related development? If so, you may want to submit or nominate an entry for the third annual Geotourism Challenge that launched last week.

During this year’s competition, titled “Places on the Edge–Saving Coastal and Freshwater Destinations,” the National Geographic Society, Ashoka Changemakers, and the Inter-American Development Bank hope to identify the world’s most innovative advances towards responsible tourism on seacoasts, lakeshores, and islands.

By focusing only on coastal destinations, this year’s competition differs from the ones that took place in 2008 and 2009. In those years, the challenge welcomed entries about any type of destination.  

“After two years of broadly focused competitions, we thought it was time to zoom in on a specific geographic area,” says Gaston Wright, Director of Localization for Ashoka and one of the competition’s key overseers.

“We thought that coastal destinations, which are among the world’s most popular and fragile, would be a good starting point.” 

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Nominations and entries will be accepted through December 1. A panel of leading sustainability advocates that includes Sylvia Earle, Bruce Poon Tip, Dinu Bumbaru, Julia Marton-Lefevre, and Yves Lesenfants will then select 10 to 15 finalists.  From January 19 through February 9, the Changemakers online community will vote on 3 winners, who will be awarded $5000 each. 

[Geotourism Challenge]

Learn more about geotourism from the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.

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