"Our world’s caves are places of wonder, mystery and majestic beauty. Show caves around the world are embracing their role in protecting and preserving caves and providing a place for people to learn about these special, natural, cultural and historical resources.
Show caves also play another important nature tourism role of sustainable economic development, providing jobs, and helping the economy of their regions.”
The International Show Caves Association (I.S.C.A.) was founded in November 1990 and set up its central office in Genga, Italy. After the first Consitutent Assembly held in Frasassi (Genga Ancona, Italy) in November 1989, important events have contributed to the development and consolidation of the association.
Definition of a show cave
A show cave is defined as a natural occurring void beneath the surface of the earth that has been made accessible to the public for tours.
A team of international scholars led by Iowa State University researcher Diana Thatcher published an article on "Linking the karst record to atmospheric, precipitation, and vegetation dynamics in Portugal"
Linking the karst record to atmospheric, precipitation, and vegetation dynamics in Portugal. An article by Diana L. Thatcher, Alan D. Wanamaker, Rhawn F. Denniston, Caroline C. Ummenhofer, Frederico T. Regala, NunoJorge, Jonathan Haws, Alaina Chormann and David P. Gillikin.
ISCA conducted a survey in the summer of 2020 for the following purposes:
1. Establish the significance of the show cave industry worldwide and share how show caves contribute to the global economy.
2. Find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted show caves, our employees, the economy, and our mission.
3. We also identified protocols show caves are using to keep employees and visitors healthy and safe during the pandemic.
Here is a new ISCA newsletter for those of you who love the underground. We hope you enjoy its reading as much as we enjoyed editing it. Thanks to everyone who contributed and feel free to share your future contents with us in order to appear in the next issue.
Most of the visitors of the thousands of show caves around the world spend around an hour enjoying a visit to a series of exceptional places, with a unique natural and cultural heritage. Most likely, this visit is the first time they come in contact with the underworld; and, in many cases, it may also be the only time they do it in their lives. Surprisingly, almost all underground tourists are
satisfied with their visit to a show cave, although they are not aware that this satisfaction can go far beyond the limited time dedicated to their tour if they prepare properly for it.
Members of the International Show Caves Association (ISCA) join cave enthusiasts around the world celebrating the International Day of Caves and the Subterranean World June 6 to increase awareness about the significance of caves to our environment, culture, history and economy, and how their economic impact has been effected by COVID-19.