Interpretation of Geoheritage for Geotourism – a Comparison of Chinese geoparks and National Parks in the United States

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This study presents an interpretation system model of geoheritage to facilitate the understanding of geoscience knowledge by the common lay person. Interpretation system construction is crucial to geoparks and is a shared value. The improvement of the effectiveness of geoheritage interpretation is still under exploration. Therefore, the interpretation systems of two global geoparks in China are outlined and compared with the interpretation system in Zion National Park in the United States. From lessons and experiences, this paper suggests utilizing geotourism as a complete contextual communication system, in which a geopark (source) delivers information about its unique cultural and natural values to target tourists (receivers) through tourism activities (channels). The communication effect of geotourism is monitored by feedback from tourists through the post-travel surveys or activities. We expect that this model will provide a better interpretation of geoheritage with a new perspective.

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