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32 SPECIAL FEATURE ADVERTORIAL NATURE TOURISM & NATIONAL PARKS 100 Years… and Not a Wrinkle! US National Park Service kicks off second century © National Parks Adventure © National Parks Adventure Robert Redford Narrates “National Parks Adventure” On August 25 th , 2016, the National Park System in the USA celebrates 100 years of providing tourists with some of the world’s most spectacular natural views. No one even counted the visitors to America’s national parks until the year Teddy Roosevelt was reelected President in 1904. There were 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in that first year. In 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) certified more than 307 million visited their parks, an increase of nearly 5%. More than 20,000 employees care for the 410 parks in the National Park System and preserve natural, cultural and historic landscapes across 84 million acres (340,000 km²). “The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.” Well-known parks set records in 2015, like Yellowstone National Park that surpassed 4 million annual recreation visits for the first time or Glacier National Park which now surpassed 100 million total recreation visits (1910 to 2015). The NPS revealed which parks attract the most visitors… and the winner is… The Great Smokey Mountains that straddle the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape offers lush forests, rivers and waterfalls that appear along hiking routes that are part of the Appalachian Trail. • Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 10,712,674 •Grand Canyon National Park - 5,520,736 • Rocky Mountain National Park - 4,155,916 • Yosemite National Park - 4,150,217 • Yellowstone National Park - 4,097,710 • Zion National Park - 3,648,846 • Olympic National Park - 3,263,761 • Grand Teton National Park - 3,149,921 • Acadia National Park - 2,811,184 • Glacier National Park - 2,366,056 To give one an idea of what it takes to support the Park System, President Obama recently submitted a .1 billion budget, a 0.2 million boost. National Park Service Director Jarvis said, “Every tax dollar invested in the NPS returns more than to the U.S. economy, thanks to visitor spending in gateway communities.” Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 Academy Award-nominated director Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins, Everest) and his team of filmmakers, bring their giant-screen storytelling to some of the most extraordinary locations on the planet. And Robert Redford narrates the story… Indeed, nothing tells a story like video. That’s why Brand USA joined Expedia, Subaru America and the Giant Dome Theater Consortium to take global audiences on the ultimate off-trail adventure: America’s great outdoors and untamed wilderness. MacGillivray Freeman’s new adventure documentary for IMAX and giant screen theatres, “National Parks Adventure,” opened globally in February and rolls out throughout the year to more than 100 theaters across the country and around the world. Captured with high-quality Solido IMAX 3D cameras for full glory on giant screens, the producer calls it “an actionpacked celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park Service and a soulful reflection on what wilderness means to us all.” Filmed in more than 30 national parks, it follows world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb and explore their way across America’s spectacular wilderness—places like Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Grand Tetons and Arches. “The national parks are major draws for international travelers and our giant-screen film is an ideal vehicle for conveying that appeal,” said Chris Thompson, Brand USA’s president and CEO. “As we continue to highlight the great outdoors in our global promotional efforts, we look forward to successful screenings of the film playing at hundreds of venues around the world.” Brand USA hosted the World Premiere at the IMAX Theater in the Smithsonian’s National Museum. Additionally, festivities were held in international markets: London, Mexico City, Tokyo and Beijing, to mark the opening. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

NATURE TOURISM & NATIONAL PARKS SPECIAL FEATURE 33 ADVERTORIAL Welcome to the Bayou… Louisiana’s Cajun National Park The Scenic Underground The US National Parks Service is spotlighting underground visits as a “different” idea for visitors seeking new nature-based experiences. Indeed, some US national parks, like Grand Canyon are famous for cutting a passage through rocks and exposing the beauty underneath. But at least one national park is… underground. Jewel Cave National Monument is home to the third largest cave in the world. It includes more than 180 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, yet remains a mysterious underground wilderness still intrigues scientists and explorers. They call it a park, but it is really six parks, miles apart and scattered across the wetlands and towns of southern Louisiana. Each is unique in its focus just like its name: The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Named for a notorious 19th-century pirate and smuggler who traded in slaves, the park gem is a 23,000-acre Louisiana wetland, known more famously as the “bayou.” In these parks one can take a history walk in the French Quarter of New Orleans, see abundant swamp wildlife in a nature preserve, attend a live radio broadcast of Cajun music in an old-time theater, visit the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, watch Cajun-cooking, and enjoy the southern hospitality of Louisiana. Each year, the Battle of New Orleans is commemorated with reenactors, cannon firings, and more. And for those fascinated with Cajun culture and cooking, there’s nothing better than the Jean Lafitte parks. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 Tucked away in the Black Hills of South Dakota, all cave tours are ranger-guided. The cave contains many of the most common types of speleothems (cave formations), including calcite formations like stalactites and stalagmites. Jewel Cave also contains very rare formations known as hydromagnesite balloons. Above ground, Jewel Cave National Monument encompasses more than 1200 acres of lush Ponderosa pine forest, and hiking trails of varying difficulty to traverse this wooded landscape, home to more than 120 bird species and vibrant spring wildflowers. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 1400 Miles of “Visit the Real America” Everything is bigger in America, including the tours. Forever Resorts introduces a 1400- mile (2253 km) journey called “Visit the Real America: Cowboys, Native Americans and the Rocky Mountain West,” passing through some of the United States’ most iconic public lands. The adventure begins in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Park Inn, the perfect base for Rocky Mountain National Park exploration; Next, inside Badlands National Park, Cedar Pass Lodge—the only lodging accommodations inside the park—offers quaint eco-cabins. Famous for sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires, the Badlands offers views of buffalo, big horn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferret. On to Signal Mountain Lodge in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park where nearby Jackson Lake and the Snake River provide popular water-based activities—fishing, scenic river trips, whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Visitors can rest up with a smooth-water float trip on the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Snake River with Mad River Boat Trips. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

ITB Berlin News