UNESCO-UNEVOC attends symposium on geotourism
at the Culture and Heritage Institute, in Toronto, Canada, 27 November to 3 December 2011
From 27 November to 3 December 2011, Mr. Teeluck Bhuwanee, Head of the UNEVOC Network, was on mission in Toronto, Canada. He also attended the annual symposium of the Culture and Heritage Institute ( School of Hospitality, Tourism and the Culture of Centennial College (http://www.centennialcollege.ca/chi/workshop)), a UNEVOC Centre (http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/netw_dir3.php?browse=id&id=3005) in Toronto, Canada.
The opening session of the symposium focused on geotourism, tourism that incorporates sustainability principles in planning, shaping and defining destinations. Mr. Bhuwanee made a presentation on this topic in the context of UNESCO's role in the Global Geoparks Network (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/earth-sciences/geoparks/), a global network of geoparks that benefit from exchange and cooperation in national geological heritage initiatives. Other presentations focused on community engagement and stakeholder successes at provincial, national and international levels in the area of geotourism. Besides presentations, a thought provoking panel discussion took place with the objective of raising awareness on the underlying principles of geotourism.
The second theme of the symposium, Celebrating Cities and their Neighborhoods: Looking beyond iconic attractions, discussed what is beyond traditional eco-tourism by including neighbourhoods and their cultural, ethnic, and historical traditions. Finally, a roundtable session was held on Geotouristic Destinations. During this session, students from the Centennial College presented their researched international destinations, which encompassed the diversity, uniqueness and overall importance of geotourism.
Additionally to the symposium, Mr. Bhuwanee held meetings with UNEVOC Canadian partners to explore ways of greater cooperation between the Bonn International Centre and Centennial College UNEVOC centre and more linkages with the Global UNEVOC Network making the UNEVOC centres more dynamic and improve international linkages. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen the UNEVOC Network in the North American region, and further explore possibilities for closer collaboration, including UNEVOC’s role in facilitating linkages with UNEVOC Centres in other regions.