Geotourism Conference Planned With National Geographic

Thursday, August 08, 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 www.TennesseeRiverValleyGeotourism.org.
 

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways To Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.   These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They ... (click for more)

CBL & Associates Properties To Pay Common And Preferred Stock Dividends

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. Thursday announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend for the company’s Common Stock of $0.245 per share for the quarter ending Sept. 30. The dividend is payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30. The Board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.4609375 per depositary share for the ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)