Geotourism Conference Planned With National Geographic

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The first "Geotourism" conference in the Southeast - Geotourism: A Promising Strategy for Sustainable Economic Development, planned in partnership with National Geographic, will be held at the Chattanooga Marriott Downtown on Thursday, Aug. 15. The day-long conference will explore how geotourism can be a driver for economic growth. 

Geotourism enhances preservation of the cultural, historical and natural resources that draw people to a region and promotes a business ethic that places a high value on protecting distinctive places through wisely managed tourism and destination stewardship, officials said.

The conference will provide ideas, incentives and inspiration on ways to market a community, business, festival, or local attraction, while enhancing quality of life in the region. The program offers opportunities for discussion and interaction with regional experts, National Geographic staff, a destination marketing organization and an award-winning national tour operator.  

The program will be of interest to tourism sites, hospitality businesses, chambers of commerce, local planning agencies, parks and recreation departments, museums, outfitters, and others looking for ways to promote, enhance and preserve local tourism.


Conference speakers include John Campbell, national brand manager for National Geographic Travel Group; Dan Austin, director of Austin-Lehman Adventures, a company specializing in world-wide adventure travel; Chris Seek, with Solimar International, a firm specializing in sustainable travel, along with Commissioner Susan Whitaker from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Regional speakers include Vicki Simms from Gatlinburg CVB; Carol Evans, Legacy Parks Foundation; Ken Rush, Ducktown Basin Museum, and Philip Grymes from Outdoor Chattanooga.

"National Geographic is pleased to have partnered with the East Tennessee River Valley region to develop the first Geotourism MapGuide in the Southeast," said, Mr. Campbell, who will be the conference keynote speaker. "This region has a great deal to build on in branding its geotourism image as a National Geographic Destination."

The conference is sponsored by the Southeast Watershed Forum and East Tennessee River Valley Geotourism Council with financial support from the Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation and Plan East Tennessee.

Review the program agenda online and register before the late fee applies. To view the MapGuide go to

Chattanooga Veterinary Network Launches Scenic City Locations

Chattanooga Veterinary Network has opened a network of veterinary clinics around the Chattanooga area.  By the end of 2017, CVN plans to have 10 Pet Wellness Centers in the Chattanooga area.  Tag Thompson launched the network in September.  “I decided to open a network of animal hospitals that are independently owned by local veterinarians,” said Mr. Thompson. ... (click for more)

NRC Schedules Meeting With TVA To Discuss Work Environment At Watts Bar

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a meeting with TVA officials for Thursday, Nov. 3, to discuss the utility’s continuing response to NRC’s concerns regarding a “chilled work environment” at the Watts Bar nuclear plant.  The meeting is scheduled to be held at 6 p.m. at the Comfort Inn, 2811 Decatur Pike, Athens, Tenn.  The plant is near Spring City, about ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Shepherd Road Tuesday Evening

Two people were shot Tuesday evening on Shepherd Road. Chattanooga Police were dispatched just before  6:30 p.m.   Tuesday,  to a parties shot call in the 1900 block of Shepherd Road.   Upon arrival, police were told two injured parties were transported to a local hospital via personal vehicle.  Both victims told investigators they were walking ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)