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36 SPECIAL FEATURE

36 SPECIAL FEATURE ADVENTURE TOURISM Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park Wyoming the Wilderness-Wide Web Yellowstone National Park Announces Social Media Presence Adventure tourism takes another step towards the future – while further raising awareness for World h eritage sites, as America’s first national park has announced its presence on several popular social media Web sites. Hall 2.1 Yellowstone is now using a variety of popular social media sites to help expand the park’s reach of public information and better connect with the park’s worldwide audiences through advancing new media technology. Old Faithful and the majority of the world’s geysers are preserved in Yellowstone. They are the main reason the park was established in 1872 as America’s first national park—an idea that spread worldwide. A mountain wild-land, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone. Now, not only will there be blog posts, podcasts, photos and video more readily available of favourite park sights and sounds, there will also be valuable information posted daily about wildlife viewing safety, road closures and other necessities to help visitors make the most of their vacation. For the past few years the park has maintained a Twitter account, which was initially set up to provide wild-land fire information. Since that time the park has gained more than 13,000 followers and now tweets information on everything from road and weather conditions to wildlife and geyser updates. With the addition of Facebook, Flickr and YouTube presences, the park now has a variety of avenues to reach its friends across the globe. Within the first few days of launching its Facebook page, “likes” for Yellowstone numbered nearly 40,000. The primary online repository for much of the park’s trip planning and other information will continue to be the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/ yell. That is where the majority of trip planning information requests from public forums like Facebook will ultimately be referred. The rest, park officials are optimistic, will be vibrant, insightful conversation about one of America’s most treasured national parks. worLd heritage… While in some parts of the world, wilderness areas continue to fall victim to “progress” and industrialisation, the United States established Yellowstone as a national park in 1872 and initiated the worldwide movement to protect such areas as national treasures. One hundred years later, during the Nixon WIThIN ThE FIrsT FEW DAys OF LAUNChING ITs FACEBOOk PAGE, “LIkEs” FOr yELLOWsTONE NUMBErED NEArLy 40,000. administration, the United States proposed the World Heritage Convention to the international community and was the first nation to ratify it. The World Heritage Convention, the most widely accepted international conservation treaty in human history, is the American national park idea being carried out worldwide. One might ask “What do national treasures like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Independence Hall and Mesa Verde have ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013 www.itb-berlin-news.com

ADVENTURE TOURISM SPECIAL FEATURE 37 in common with the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Galapagos Islands and the Tower of London?”… They are World Heritage Sites. They are such outstanding universally recognised natural and cultural features that they attract the admiration and merit the protection of all people worldwide. They are a heritage to be shared with the world. The mere mention of their names evokes universal human values. The United States’ World Heritage sites also embrace extraordinary natural wonders in the national parks: the world’s tallest trees at Redwood, the Earth’s longest underground passageways at Mammoth Cave, North America’s largest assemblage of glaciers and peaks above 16,000 feet at Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay, and the world’s greatest geyser system at Yellowstone. Similar superlatives can be applied to Carlsbad Caverns, Everglades, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Hawaii Volcanoes, Olympic, and Yosemite. great for the ecoNomy Naming and protecting these sites has paid off in the long run, as at last count, nearly 4,900 jobs were supported by tourism activity in Yellowstone National Park alone. Most of the spending and jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/ amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent). The figures are based on billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peerreviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service. Yosemite-150 Years of Protection Yosemite National Park prepares celebrations for the anniversary of the Yosemite Grant “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity...” --john Muir, 1898 Yosemite National Park unveiled the logo for the Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary during a ceremony in April 2012, at Yosemite Lodge, during the quarterly Yosemite Gateway Partners Meeting. The logo was created to help the park plan for the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, which will be commemorated on June 30, 2014. Not just a great valley, Yosemite is a “shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquillity of the High Sierra”. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. maJor ceLeBratioNS pLaNNed The park and gateway communities are actively planning a multitude of activities that will commemorate the anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, a bill that ushered in the national park idea. On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln’s signature enacted the protection and preservation of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias for eternity. This milestone act was the first time a federal government set aside a piece of land purely for preservation for the people. The Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary logo depicts a silhouette of a fountain pen against a backdrop of Half Dome with the signature of President Abraham Lincoln in the foreground. Some renditions of the logo contain the tagline “Inspiring Generations. “The logo will be used on all commemorative items and official anniversary memorabilia, which will include pins, posters, hats, etc. The logo will also be used during all official commemorative events, educational programs, and other projects related to the upcoming anniversary. Over 100 activities are being planned to occur in gateway communities and in the park from the autumn of 2013 through the summer of 2014.These include formal anniversary activities, including art contests, poetry festivals, gateway community commemorations, and a variety of activities that are in the planning stages. The Yosemite Wilderness has over 750 miles of trail. As part of the wilderness experience, a good planning process will enhance the visitor’s understanding of the park and their hike, while increasing their enjoyment and safety. The US National Parks service website has excellent resources for trip planning, including links to a social network sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, allowing the visitor to have extra natural and cultural resources. Hiking and cycling are some of the best ways to see the park, and to this end, the National Parks service also offers a PDF guide to where to go and what to do while in the park. By the same token, for over 40 years, an Outdoor Adventures program by the Yosemite Conservancy (www. yosemiteconservancy. org/) has provided a deeper appreciation for Yosemite’s wildlife, geology, cultural history and more. Whether visitors want to plan the Yosemite trip of a lifetime for their family or group, or travel in the wilderness with a trained naturalist at your side, they are able to plan their own custom adventure with Yosemite Conservancy. Their Outdoor Adventures expert guides have led tens of thousands of park visitors to hike, observe, experience, and explore Yosemite. In the next months, specific themes include Leave No Trace Trainer, A Saunter With John Muir, Spring Light Photography, Photographing the Moonbow, and Yosemite’s Bird of Prey. Yosemite thus in 2013/2014 takes the forefront in reminding us that the protection of great wilderness areas pays off in the marvelling of visitors from around the world for centuries to come. Hall 2.1 DID YOU KNOW yosemite and huangshan are sister parks. huangshan, which protects over 77 magnificent granite peaks 3,000 feet (1,000 m) or higher, is one of China’s most famous and sacred scenic areas. Countless poems and writings dating back 2,200 years attest to its beauty. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

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