(Frankfort, KY)-Thirty tourist sites in the Appalachian Region of Eastern Kentucky are featured on a map appearing in the April 2005 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine as part of a major tourism project of the Appalachian Regional Commission and the National Geographic Society. The project represents a “first-of-its-kind” collaborative effort between the two organizations to promote Appalachia and its “undiscovered treasures”.
“I have never found an area as beautiful or as scenic as the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, particularly the Appalachia area,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “I am proud that Kentucky and Appalachia are being recognized in National Geographic Traveler. While Kentuckians have always known the area is a treasure, now the nation will be informed as well.”
Randy Fiveash, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism, stated, “This map project represents a great partnership between the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the National Geographic Society and all the ARC member states. It is a partnership that has provided a significant marketing tool for Kentucky as it showcases our rich history and cultural heritage by way of the thirty sites. It is marketing projects like this that will help Kentucky in our efforts to increase tourism to our state.”
The Kentucky map locations range from tourist attractions such as Mammoth Cave National Park and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea to festivals, scenic byways, restaurants, crafts shops and historic sites. The Kentucky Department of Tourism, along with the help of local tourism commissions, Area Development Districts, Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association, Eastern Kentucky University and the Kentucky Artisan Heritage Trails identified and recommended potential sites from the state. National Geographic made the final selections and in all, 356 sites are listed across the 13-state Appalachian region.
The tourism project consists of a printed map, including the 30 Kentucky sites, which will be inserted in the April issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine and delivered to more than 900,000 subscribers nationwide and read by over four million people across the country. An additional 300,000 maps will be distributed by the state tourism offices of the ARC’s 13 states to targeted traveler mailing lists, regional welcome centers, and tourism trade shows. The ARC will also distribute the maps to schools, libraries, and civic organizations throughout Appalachia. Additionally, an online version of the map is available at www.nationalgeographic.com. Kentucky sites may also be accessed through the Kentucky Artisan Heritage Trails at www.kaht.com .
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, to generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky's economy.