Geotourism is a form of natural area tourism that specifically focuses on geology and landscape. It promotes tourism to geosites and the conservation of geo-diversity and an understanding of earth sciences through appreciation and learning. This is achived through independent visits to geological features, use of geo-trails and view points, guided tours, geo-activities and patronage of geosite visitor center (Newsome and Dowling, 2010).
Geological heritage is an essential part of World heritage, as it represents the unique record of the whole evolution of our planet. It tells the story of the Earth's development, especially those processes that shaped it.
In 1998, a geological heritage programme was established in the Republic of Ireland. The aim of this programme is to promote awareness and protection of significant geological heritage sites. County geological heritage sites are included in county development and heritage plan. Kerry has many wonderful geosites (sites of spectacular geological features and scenery).
Geopark is one of the most effective way of presenting the geological heritage to visitors, showing link between the physical landscape, archaeology, mythology, folklore and biodiversity. Ireland has three UNESCO-supported Global Geoparks – Burren & Cliffs of Moher (Co.Clare), Marble Arch Caves (Co. Fermanagh-Cavan) and Copper Coast (Co. Waterford). Local communities in South Kerry have been developing for a number of years, aspiring Kerry Geopark in Sneem (South Kerry).
Enjoy exploring the natural wonder and build heritage via story maps linked with images shown below: