Geotourism initiatives: some examples from Modena Apennines (Northern Italy)
The ever-growing consolidation of a new kind of tourism, more sensitive to environmental issues, has given rise to rapid expansion of the “geotourism”, a niche of Nature tourism that has developed worldwide in the last years, in which the main objects are geosites. Furthermore, with cultural aspects, civilisation's heritage elements and leisure infrastructures, natural elements are among the main factors for the attraction of tourist sites.
Geotourism in some ways is not new: even though it is a term introduced recently it is always practised but very often in an unconscious way. Just think for examples of the use of hot springs, beaches, mountains, lakes etc. In this perspective the geological and geomorphological elements can be considered as a resources from the tourism perspective for many countries. This is particularly truth for Italy, where the rich cultural and natural heritage and the outstanding aesthetic qualities of the complex natural landscape have led to become the country one of the most important tourist destination worldwide.
This paper discuss and present a critical overview of some products elaborated in recent time in different geological context in Modena Apennines (northern Italy), highlighting strengths and gaps, and also taking into account the target of visitors they are addressed to. In particular, tourist environmental maps, geotourism maps, excursion and educational footpaths with panels, equipped trails, books in hard copy and digital format, videos, virtual flights, multimedia and audio CDs etc. will be illustrated.