BATON ROUGE, LA — Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, National Geographic and the U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism Stewardship Council are launching a comprehensive Geotourism MapGuide and website, which includes a printed map and mobile app, for travelers seeking unique natural places and culturally rich experiences in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The website, www.USGulfCoastStatesGeotourism.com, targets a variety of growing travel niches including nature, cultural heritage and culinary. The landmark project took more than a year to develop and is designed to showcase the region’s defining natural, cultural and historical attractions to local, national and international audiences.
“This partnership with National Geographic is an opportunity to showcase to the world the unique places and experiences offered in the Gulf Coast states,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi share a coast, but have diverse cultures not found anywhere else on Earth.”
The project, officially known as the U.S. Gulf Coast States: Explore the Southern Crescent Geotourism Initiative, resulted from a partnership between National Geographic Maps and tourism leaders from the four Gulf states most affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. By highlighting the rich landscapes and resilient people of the Gulf southern crescent region, it seeks to contribute to the economic health of the communities in the area.
“The U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism MapGuide and website showcase what makes the Gulf region so culturally and geographically significant,” James Dion, sustainable tourism program manager for National Geographic Maps, said. “More than ever, this project underscores the importance of conserving the region’s tremendous scenic, historic and cultural assets for future generations.”
Community organizations, residents, tourism stakeholders and local businesses of the four Gulf coast states have nominated more than 1,600 sites for inclusion in the map, and residents and visitors may continue to nominate new sites and events.
The U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism Project receives support from tourism offices in each of the four states that make up the U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism Stewardship Council, as well as BP’s Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotion Grant, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with Louisiana Office of the Lt. Governor and the U.S. Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program.