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NEW YORK (May 19, 2016)—Businesses, organizations, elected officials, the National Park Service and community leaders participating today in the Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism initiative will introduce America’s newest and most compelling travel destination: the “Scenic, Wild Delaware River.”

The Scenic, Wild Delaware River region offers unique cultural, recreational and natural experiences along the upper and middle Delaware River. Its attractions lay within a few hours’ drive of New York City, Newark and Philadelphia. The region is anchored by three river-based national parks: Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic River.

Here visitors can fish, swim and canoe in a river carved by geologic time and human history. They can connect with nature by watching eagles soar overhead and deer browse in forests and fields. The family can enjoy waterfalls that make the heart leap, learn to catch a fish downstream and picnic along the river’s banks. Visitors can discover friendly towns steeped in culture and history nestled among a postcard landscape from a bygone era.

At today’s event, leaders will unveil the Scenic, Wild Delaware River MapGuide. Created in coordination with National Geographic Maps, the MapGuide is an interactive travel website featuring more than 600 landmarks, natural resources, attractions, activities, events, lodging and dining venues nominated for inclusion in the MapGuide by local residents, businesses, organizations, public and private land managers, educators and community establishments.

The MapGuide aims to attract a niche market of national and international geotourists to the Scenic, Wild Delaware River region. This resource will serve national and international tourists seeking culturally and naturally authentic places, and it will allow visitors access to travel advice from local residents in order to create their own itineraries. The MapGuide may be previewed at www.delawareriver.natgeotourism.com.

Featured speakers at the unveiling will include leaders from the Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism Stewardship Council, along with James Dion, National Geographic Maps’ director of tourism programs. Speakers will showcase how to use the new travel website and announce projects for the coming year. Businesses, sites and attractions that appear in the new MapGuide will also be represented.

Members of the media are invited to attend and must RSVP to schiron@npca.org by COB on May 18.

WHAT: Cocktail Reception To Unveil America’s Newest Travel Destination: The Scenic, Wild Delaware River Region

WHEN: May 19, 2016 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: National Parks Conservation Association Northeast Office,

256 West 36th Street- 12th Floor, New York, New York 10018

A locally based Geotourism Stewardship Council oversees and manages the Scenic, Wild Delaware River geotourism initiative. The Council’s first product is the MapGuide. Residents and visitors may continue to nominate new sites, events and special places for the website, which will be dynamic and constantly updated.

The Scenic, Wild Delaware River geotourism initiative is one of only 23 geotourism programs worldwide. The MapGuide highlights the region’s unique character by showcasing businesses, sites and events nominated by area residents, and providing travel advice, itineraries, and insights from locals.

The Scenic, Wild Delaware River geotourism initiative seeks to contribute to the area’s economic health and long-term vitality by promoting geotourism: Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. On average, geotourists are highly educated, take four or more leisure trips per year, care about the protection and preservation of the places they visit, and about half have annual household incomes above $75,000.

The Scenic, Wild Delaware River region includes Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey; Delaware, Orange and Sullivan counties in New York; and Monroe, Northampton, Pike and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania. The area is anchored by three national parks — Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic River.

Initial funding for the Scenic, Wild Delaware River geotourism initiative was provided by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, with funding also from the Claneil Foundation, to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). The nonpartisan NPCA is a nonprofit, independent advocacy organization working to protect and enhance America’s national parks.

National Geographic Maps has partnered with communities across the United States and the world to produce more than 20 Geotourism MapGuides, including for the Greater Yellowstone (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), Crown of Continent (Montana, British Columbia, Alberta), U.S. Gulf Coast States (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida), Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province and The Bahamas Family of Islands.

National Geographic Maps was established as a division of the National Geographic Society in 1915 and has been producing maps for National Geographic magazine and other Society groups for 100 years. National Geographic Maps produces outdoor recreation mapping software, Trails Illustrated maps and software, globes, wall maps, travel maps and atlases. For more information on National Geographic Maps, visit www.natgeomaps.com.

 

The initial “Wild, Scenic Delaware River” Geotourism Stewardship Council includes travel and tourism industry representatives; businesses owners; members of cultural, art and historical organizations; members of local Chambers of Commerce and economic development groups; conservation and recreation organizations; local public and private land managers; and other community leaders throughout the region:

 

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