Tourism > Why Nature Tourism: Benefits
> Case Study -Coulee Corridor
Coulee Corridor Nature Tourism Success Story
idea of visiting and experiencing high quality natural environments
and also protecting them from harmful impacts is now an acceptable
and marketable one. As a result, nature tourism is among the travel
industry’s highest growth areas.
wishing to plan and/or develop nature-based tourism are confronted
with a number of challenges.
the locality should possess abundant and/or a unique mix of natural,
recreational and cultural attractions and activities (marketing
a tourist support and infrastructure (hotels, restaurants)
system should exist or be developed.
information concerning the attractions and activities (marketing
magnets) of the area must be developed for both advertisement
and guidance. Information concerning the assets of the area should
be directed at increasing resource awareness among local residents,
attracting tourists from outside of the community and aiding tourists
in locating and enjoying particular sites and resources.
materials and personnel offering assistance in interpreting the
ecological value of the area should be available. Most nature
tourists are seeking a "high quality experience" which
includes information about local natural and cultural resources.
Country in Central Washington is one area where a group of communities
has pursued a vision of expanding a new mix of nature tourism. This
project area roughly stretching from Othello to Grand Coulee is
blessed with an abundance of ecologically and culturally valuable
resources as well as a substantial tourist support infrastructure.
All of the ingredients exist in these communities and on the adjacent
public lands to attract a new kind of visitor interested in real
places with stories linking the past and present, an area rich in
natural scenery and wildlife diversity. However, the communities
seemed to lack a cohesive, comprehensive strategy to develop a well
thought-out large-scale tourism plan for the area. That is until
a Scenic Byway grant and planning process came along to serve as
the catalyst to bring representatives of ten towns, two counties,
multiple state, federal, tribal agencies and conservation nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) to the planning table. The following are some
of the major of steps taken in this community planning effort that
are leading to the development of a sustainable, long-term nature
- Conduct public
a steering committee
community resources & attractions
- Map the community
a formal Coulee Corridor Planning Committee
- Develop a
"community vision/ future condition"
- Share the
- Conduct "familiarization"
tours for key constituents
- Draft a community
plan with ranked projects
- Draft a work/project
plan with prioritized projects
- Obtain necessary
training and leadership skills
- Obtain funding
for a priority project
the vision sharing
- Create and
distribute a information which details the ecological assets and
features along Coulee Corridor
information on this community effort check out the following: