ARC Releases New Study on Appalachian Tourism
Extending Our Welcome Trends and Strategies for Tourism in Appalachia found that most of Appalachia’s 420 counties experience modest levels of tourism, and often struggle to strengthen this sector due to lack of capacity and resources. To help those areas better establish tourism infrastructure and support more vibrant asset-based economies, the report makes several recommendations, including:
- Embracing major changes in modern tourism, including the role played by technology and the diversity of the current traveling public
- Educating and training local officials to help them better understand local tourism strategies
- Connecting communities, especially rural areas, with hands-on technical assistance in tourism planning and hospitality
- Training rural communities to prepare for and welcome visitors of all backgrounds,
- Practicing good stewardship of public lands, which are the foundation of Appalachian tourism
- Creating authentic local experiences unique to a community’s natural and cultural assets
- Addressing issues, like substance abuse, affecting Appalachia’s front line tourism workforce
In addition to providing recommendations, which are rooted in survey responses from over 500 visitors to Appalachia and more than 700 regional tourism stakeholders, the report also profiles 12 communities and establishments across eight states as a source of best practices in Appalachia’s current tourism landscape.
Check out one Local Case Study in this report on Marietta, Ohio.
ARC is now accepting ARC Pre-Applications for FY 2022 funding until May 14, 2021. More details and the application to submit is here.