Mining tourism is one of the latest trends attracting vacationers to unique destinations around the world. Many of these attractions offer visitors the chance to explore mines and experience the novelties firsthand. There are several reasons why the trend has become so popular. From individual exploration to recreated mining experiences, the opportunities just keep growing.
Mining involves the removal of valuable minerals, and other resources, from the surface of the earth. For decades, explorers have been visiting mines on all continents. In North America, for example, hikers often explore abandoned mineshafts and caves in spite of the many risks involved. Specialized equipment is a must for adventurers who enjoy mine exploration and it’s best to purchase them from a retailer who specializes in safety gear, such as RSEA. However, independent discovery comes with multiple risks, many of which pose real dangers. Organized visits, on the other hand, allow tourists adventure combined with necessary safety features. The tourist industry, well aware of this increasing interest, is seeking ways to open up international mining experiences to tourists.
Mining Touristy in Chile
Chile is a country currently experiencing a rise in mining tourism. In 2015, Chile plans to open up two dozen well-known copper mines to tourists from around the world. The ‘Mining Tourism Route,’ results from the industry’s recognition of this rising interest in the mining. For years, Chile has drawn travelers to its extensive deserts, glaciers, and fiords, as well as to its distinctive wineries and ‘Ring of Fire’ volcanos. Now, the mining experience, once restricted to private visits, is being extended to individuals and families who want to encounter the novelties of copper mining. The development of the Mining Tourism Route is the result of cooperative efforts by a regional branch of the National Tourism Service, local representatives and mining companies. Additionally, visitors will also be able to visit a Mining Museum in Calama, Chile.
Mining Theme Parks – Australia and Canada
Queensland, Australia’s coastal region is taking a slightly different approach. CQ University’s Dr. Susan Kinnea and Professors John Rolfe are exploring the advantages of bringing mining tourism closer to the coast. Since it is not always practical for tourists to travel to more remote mining destinations, such as the Blackwater Coal Centre (at least a 200km distance from Rock Hampton, Queensland), the tourism specialists are looking for ways to recreate the mining experience close to popular tourist cities. As vacation spots, these theme parks would offer experiential and educational activities to tourists. The parks would give visitors the chance to drive dump trucks and sort through buckets for trinkets and treasures. Displays with mining equipment and machinery would also afford opportunities to look back in time and gain knowledge of mining through hands-on experiences. These recreational planners are using tourist sites such as ‘The Oil Sands Discovery Centre’ in Fort McMurray, Canada as examples of successful ‘discovery programs’ noting that the Oil Sands Centre has drawn nearly two guests over the past fifteen years.
Mining tourism provides exceptional opportunities to investigate mines and to learn more about the industry. It will be exciting to follow this trend as it continues to develop.