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ARC Launches "Bon Appétit Appalachia" Tourism Mapguide

July 2014


 

CHARLESTON, West Virginia, July 15, 2014—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) today announced the launch of the Bon Appétit Appalachia tourism mapguide at the Capitol Market in Charleston, West Virginia, in an event hosted by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

The cover of the summer 2014 issue of
            <i>Food Traveler Magazine</i>. ARC's new <i>Bon Appétit Appalachia<i> tourism mapguide was published as an insert in the magazine.
Published in the summer 2014 issue of Food Traveler Magazine, the Bon Appétit Appalachia local-food mapguide showcases 283 of the Appalachian Region's most distinctive food destinations. The mapguide is also available as an interactive feature at www.visitappalachia.com.
The cover of ARC's new <i>Bon Appétit Appalachia<i>
            tourism mapguide.

Tomblin was joined by ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl, as well as by other federal, state, and local officials and by West Virginia food producers, in making the mapguide launch announcement.

Bon Appétit Appalachia showcases 283 of the Appalachian Region's most distinctive food destinations, including 21 in West Virginia, and is available as an insert in the summer 2014 issue of Food Traveler Magazine. Sites featured include local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, wineries, craft breweries, and other culinary destinations.

The mapguide's launch builds on ARC's efforts to promote Appalachia's local-food economy as the Region continues to grapple with declines in mining, forestry, chemical industries, and heavy industry. Supporting its growing food-systems sector is one of the important steps the Region has taken to diversify its economic base.

The growth in Appalachia's local food systems has been one of the most promising economic developments the Region has seen in decades and was the focus of a recent 13-state "Jobs and Local Food Systems" tour that Gohl undertook with colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"West Virginia is home to an authentic and vibrant agricultural community, and it's an honor to host the national launch of the Bon Appétit Appalachia mapguide in the Mountain State," Tomblin said. "The diverse culinary heritage of West Virginia and the Appalachian Region provides us with a wonderful opportunity to build upon agritourism and allows us to showcase our local farms, farmers markets, and a number of other culinary destinations and events."

Gohl, drawing on his extensive travels in the Region, underscored the changing economic landscape resulting from an invigorated local-food economy: "Local food systems are growing throughout Appalachia, and their growth is making important economic contributions in rural communities. Our Bon Appétit Appalachia mapguide showcases a broad range of exciting destinations for tourists in the new food landscape of the Region."

In addition to being published as an insert in Food Traveler Magazine, the mapguide is available as a more detailed interactive feature at www.visitappalachia.com. The online mapguide offers an expanded list of more than 650 Appalachian food destinations.

ARC media events and educational workshops are taking place throughout the Region this summer to help local communities promote the sites featured in the mapguide.