In 2008, Gold Country Communities Society received a $81,070 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $312,300 project. This has been a funding partnership of Gold Country Communities Society, Northern Development, Blue Sky Country, Community Economic Diversification Initiative, District of Logan Lake, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, Village of Ashcroft, Village of Cache Creek, and Village of Clinton
2012- Discover Gold Country’s rich historical past with a modern day treasure hunt! The Gold Country Geotourism Program allows participants to use GPS coordinates or a compass and clues to seek out geocache boxes hidden at each of the many sites scattered throughout the region. Visitors earn prizes at each site and can earn additional prizes by visiting multiple locations.
Visitors that are interested in learning about local culture, nature and the region’s rich history can spend an enjoyable afternoon or a full week itinerary travelling the region, exploring hidden gems. It’s typical for geotourists that are passionate about finding all the geocaches to spend a few hours searching for a geocache box at each location. This is a great way for Gold Country communities to promote travel to the region while retaining visitors in each of the communities and creating an environment where local spending from tourists is maximized.
This program was conceived in 2008 and was launched with partial funding support of Northern Development and a number of partner organizations. In fact, Gold Country Communities Society’s Geotourism Program is supported by a vast array of project partners in the region including municipalities, regional districts, tourism operators, historians, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations. The program includes the Gold Country communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet, Logan Lake, Lytton, Merritt, the electoral areas of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and twenty-two First Nations communities.
This project is part of a multi-year program expansion that has been supported through a further investment by Northern Development:
"This project is a cornerstone for the southern communities working together to diversify their economies by creating new tourism related initiatives. $81,070 in grant funding for the launch of Gold Country's Geotourism Program is supported by the Northern Development's Pine Beetle Recovery Account. This account is an initiative of the Province of British Columbia, which invested $30 million in the Trust to focus on projects that support economic diversification and create new jobs in communities affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, encouraging regional collaboration, and establishing enduring relationships between business, First Nations, local government and the broader community."Ella Brown, former Mayor, District of Logan Lake
In an effort to diversify the economy and increase the tourism product within the Gold Country area, the Geotourism program has been able to capitalize on global GPS and historic tourism trends through the establishment of this destination outdoor tourism program. Geotourism has a strong presence on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and several personal blogs including traveller created video testimonials citing the success of this initiative. As a result of this project, local information and visitors centers, and businesses are reporting a a sustained increase in visitors.