Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Design, Expanded Content for Recreation.Gov

A new website design was announced earlier this week that will improve navigation tools and provide expanded content for Recreation.Gov, the interagency website that guides visitors to 90,000 sites on federal lands such as national parks, wildlife refuges, waterways, forests and recreation areas.

The redesign of is an initial step in a multi-year strategy to engage visitors with enhanced interactive content and more multimedia, mobile, trip-planning tools. The seven million visitors who use the website every year will be able to make reservations, see ready-made itineraries for destination cities, and search for activities on an interactive map.

“ is a perfect example of interagency cooperation to leverage resources and provide recreational opportunities for all Americans, as well as international visitors to American public lands and waters,” Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Outdoor activities contribute an estimated $646 billion to the U.S. economy, according to independent estimates, and this enhanced website will provide a gateway for Americans to enjoy their great outdoors.”

Highlights of the updated site include:

Explore Trip Ideas: now features Explore Trip Ideas with interactive maps to help visitors discover points-of-interest on public lands when planning trips to popular destination cities like Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and more.

Go Lists: Created to encourage more people to get active outdoors, Go Lists provide highlights of places to go, events, and activities at federal sites across the country with topics including “Day Hikes for Weekend Warriors” and “Civil War 150th Anniversary: Places and Events that Shaped Our Nation.”

Discover Great American Adventures: More in-depth articles and destination spotlights can be found in Discover Great American Adventures which feature a wide variety of experiences and adventures found only in America.

The website update is a joint initiative between federal agency partners – including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 2012 the Departments of Commerce and the Interior have outlined a long term strategy for increasing both domestic and international tourism to the United States. The strategy provides a blueprint for the federal government to reach a goal of attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021. International spending on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services set an all-time record of $153 billion in 2011, an 8.1 percent increase from 2010, and supported an additional 103,000 jobs for a total of 7.6 million industry jobs.

Hiking in the Smokies

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