Global Network of National Geoparks

Vulkaneifel European geopark: From single activities to joint business

Published :March 11, 2008
A. shculler1 & W. reh2
Natur-und Geopark vulkaneifel GmbH, Mainzer Straße 25, D- 54550 Daun, Germany
2Eifel Tourismus GmbH, Kalvarienberg 1, D-54595 Prüm, Germany

Keywords: Geological public relation, off-central offer, co-operation with tourism

For more than 30 years the term "Vulkaneifel" has been used for the marketing of this area of western Germany. In the first instance the use was limited only to the representation of the water filled maars as regional tourism hot spots. After universities had sporadically dealt with geological public repation and policy makers herein recognized their own perspectives and, nowadays the various geological attractions as a whole are included in the geo-tourism marketing of this region.

According to the structural conditions the respective communities discretely pushed geological public awareness over many years and developed some tourism infratructure. The disadvantage of this development often was the priority of local needs over a more regional approach. Consequently a joint regional strategy could not always be achieved. However, in the longer term it proved to be an advantage that there was no focus on one single centre of information, but the development of a multiple information points that could be established evenly across the region. For the aims of the Geopark -the involvement of the incentive caused by geo-scientific public relations, trourism activities as well as the laminar promotion of the ecologic, economic and social advancement - this is a blessing in disguies.

Today, in order to meet the effective demands of stronger co-operation and bundling of powers, in 2002 the communities joined forces to from a thematic syndicate and a Geopark Organisation was founded. This institution represents the Geopark as an umbrella organisation. The central point on which all activities are concentrated is the promotion of geo-tourism. In this connection, intensive co-operation with the tourism boards seems to be decisive on a local as well as on a regional basis. This is one of the strong points of the Vulkaneifel European Geopark.