Eastern Kentucky University

Presenter Information

Carter UnrauFollow

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Recreation and Parks Administration (Concentrations: Natural Resource Recreation Admin & Event Planning)

Minor

Political Science

Institution 22-23

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

68

KY Senate District #

24

Department

Department of Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

Many counties in Eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia in general have suffered intense economic hardship in the past decades due to the decline in coal and other mining industries which once supplied many jobs to the people of the region. A common remedy to this is increasing tourism development in these communities. While this tactic has seen positive effects in the region, there's been communities that have given a negative review of the increase in tourism development. With such an economic gain to be had, its imperative that the source of this issue should be rooted out and resolved to continue repairing the financial state of Eastern Kentucky. Analyzing why these communities are reacting negatively is important to ensuring the longevity of economic success. Researchers used a semi-structured interview within two different communities that were experiencing planned growth in tourism development. The cities of London and McKee Kentucky were chosen as they shared many common factors beneficial to the study outcomes but the cities were at varying stages of tourism development. They were asked about their viewpoints on the development process such as involvement, individual knowledge on the town's tourism board, experiences with tourism interactions in their community, and the economic growth they have personally seen in their individual lives and in their community. The researchers found that while the primary need identified by 175 out of 177 respondents was economic advancement, the city of McKee had identified being left out of many proceedings and decisions as the main concern for their negative views on the process. The conclusion was that for tourism development to succeed in these rural and tight-knit communities is that including the local population in all facets of the project like bringing in local business owners, community leaders, etc. is crucial to public opinion.

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How Community Satisfaction can Determine the Success of Tourism Development in a Community

Many counties in Eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia in general have suffered intense economic hardship in the past decades due to the decline in coal and other mining industries which once supplied many jobs to the people of the region. A common remedy to this is increasing tourism development in these communities. While this tactic has seen positive effects in the region, there's been communities that have given a negative review of the increase in tourism development. With such an economic gain to be had, its imperative that the source of this issue should be rooted out and resolved to continue repairing the financial state of Eastern Kentucky. Analyzing why these communities are reacting negatively is important to ensuring the longevity of economic success. Researchers used a semi-structured interview within two different communities that were experiencing planned growth in tourism development. The cities of London and McKee Kentucky were chosen as they shared many common factors beneficial to the study outcomes but the cities were at varying stages of tourism development. They were asked about their viewpoints on the development process such as involvement, individual knowledge on the town's tourism board, experiences with tourism interactions in their community, and the economic growth they have personally seen in their individual lives and in their community. The researchers found that while the primary need identified by 175 out of 177 respondents was economic advancement, the city of McKee had identified being left out of many proceedings and decisions as the main concern for their negative views on the process. The conclusion was that for tourism development to succeed in these rural and tight-knit communities is that including the local population in all facets of the project like bringing in local business owners, community leaders, etc. is crucial to public opinion.

 

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