The Scenic Wild Delaware River stewardship council held our first geotourism conference on September 28, 2017 at Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, PA. The theme of the conference was “The River Unites Us." Over 100 SWDR website contributors, business owners, community officials, stewardship advocates, tourism promoters, public land managers, and many others attended.
The conference offered opportunities to learn from experts in geotourism practices. Interactive workshops engaged participants in learning about the economic benefits of stewardship and preservation, as well as how to make the most of the SWDR website and social media.
The conference was not meant to be a singular event, but a starting point for identifying common strengths and challenges, and sharing ideas about how to preserve and promote the unique Scenic Wild Delaware River region. Conference attendees identified topics they would like to see addressed in future educational forums.
Conference speakers included:
Jim Dion - Vice President of Destination Partnerships, Solimar International
In the "Geotourism: Its Benefits, Opportunities, History and Future" plenary session, Mr. Dion gave an overview of geotourism based on his experience with geotourism and ecotourism programs around the world.
Julie Graham - Executive Director, Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council, and Project Manager, Tennessee River Valley Geotourism MapGuide
In the "Collective Impact: People, Place, Prosperity" plenary session, Mrs. Graham shared her experiences with this successful geotourism project, and how the seven-state initiative promotes the identity and value of their place.
Bryan Cope - Chair, SWDR Geotourism Stewardship Council, and Northampton County (PA) Open Space Coordinator
In the "Mission, Vision, Accomplishments and Future of the Scenic Wild Delaware River Initiative" welcome session, Mr. Cope presented a summary of the start-up and major accomplishments of the SWDR geotourism initiative over the last few years, and what's coming up.
Other presenters included business owners and experts in planning, stewardship, and destination marketing.
Download conference presentations below.