St. John's eyes National Geographic status
St. John's council's tourism advisory committee wants the city to join forces with National Geographic to establish eastern Newfoundland as an official National Geographic "geotourism" destination.
The committee said it would be a great opportunity to link the provincial capital with the National Geographic brand and to attract travellers.
The project would be a joint partnership with the provincial Tourism Department, the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Parks Canada and some private entrepreneurs, alongside the U.S. geographical society.
Council is to vote on the recommendation Tuesday.
If the project goes ahead, the partners would have to sign National Geographic's geotourism charter, which commits signatories to allowing only tourism that "sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place." A significant part of tourism revenues are also supposed to be used for conservation of a locale's physical, cultural and historical uniqueness.
In exchange, National Geographic would work with the partnership group on the creation of a National Geographic-branded map outlining eastern Newfoundland's unique character.
National Geographic's newest geotourism destinations are California's redwood forests, the Douro Valley in Portugal and the Central Cascades mountains in Oregon and Washington state.
In Canada, official sites include Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO world heritage site spanning the Alberta-Montana border, and Montreal, the first city to sign the society's geotourism charter.