Our mission is to help create sustainable high quality experiences for tourists.
For our vision to become a reality, we must have yearly goals that focus on the three elements of sustainability which are, Environment, Economy, and Society.
For 2021, We Have Five Goals
Tourism Services with Social Media
ASTC Logo Competition
Allow stakeholders to submit their ASTC Logo in hopes of it becoming the brand.
ASTC will pick the best 5 and then allow the public to vote. The logo with the most votes wins.
The creator's name/organization will go on the Hall of Fame and Sponsors page, and they will receive plank owner status with ASTC. They will also have the option to Adopt an Organization for 12 months.
There will be no money reward.
Only one Logo may be presented per organization.
Individuals may present up to 3.
If you are interested in submitting a logo,
Here is our flicker group page to share your logo.
Or please complete our stakeholder form.
Please check out the Logo Gallery.
Environment. The logo should capture the true landscape of the region. This means rolling hills and not peaks. There should be water involved due to the large amounts of rain on this side of the continent. This logo will capture the true authenticity of our region and help ASTC with the vision of transforming tourists into stakeholders.
Economy. This competition format will allow any person or organization to submit a logo and compete with respectable marketing firms. This is a classic example of the deflationary effects of Business Management Information Systems. The little guy can produce at the same level as the big guy, and get the recognition. And a third party spends less money.
Society. This approach to finding a Logo allows everyone to participate. This will increase equity and motivate others that ASTC likes input from people who care. Remember, never turn away someone who cares.
There are five states involved, so please keep this in mind.
Help Facilitate a Regional Trail Crew/s
The Trail Crew would work on trails on Federal Public Domain Land. Many of these lands do not have a dedicated Trail Crew to improve or even maintain the nation's trails. There is no Trial Crew run by Federal Employees, so there is indeed a market failure here. The golden age (1960s/1970s) of lavish spending on recreation on the USFS started to come to an end as fires in the west progressively got worst after the 1990s, and more grid lock in D.C.
However, there is new hope with the Great American Outdoors Act passed in 2020.
Environment. Sustainable trails have the least amount of impact on the forest ecology.
Economy. Improvements on the quality of the outdoor tourism experience will create return visits and positive reviews on social media. This will also create interests in careers in Natural Resource Management as a Trail Coordinator/Trail Crew Leader in the private sector.
Society. Trail Crews will create more stakeholders who have a interest in the management of trails. You will allow more people to go outside when you lead work hikes and improve their hard skills and help them network with others.
Please see our Trail Crew Information page for more details.
Adopt an Organization Program
Such organizations help distressed counties or distressed areas as per the Appalachian Regional Commission; and who help with environmental, economical, and social sustainability.
Organization are defined as government (public), or for-profit, nonprofit (private).
Environment. Many organizations are creating nature based tourism businesses. We hope to be a positive influence and mediator. In short, ecotourism does not mean being outside, but instead a niche market that should be well guarded.
Economy. Due to past leaders failing to diversity the economy over a staggering 75+ year period, much of our 5 state service area has spent the last 5-25 years investing in ways to stimulate their economies. ASTC believes that many of the distressed counties are still crawling out this economic depression.
Again, we believe a stronger tourism industry will make the region more attractive for people to move here and for industry jobs to take root.
Society. At first glance, this may seem like ASTC is trying to get counties in NC, and TN to be held back so that others can catch up. Some may argue that this goes against our core value of fairness.
A business owner who is barley getting by may want to be close to their family and community and can't help it if they were born and raised in a area that is not distressed or at risk economically. Or perhaps their elders all ready put in the hard work to turn a corner.
ASTC makes the argument that that the regional tourism industry will benefit more if the distressed counties get more attention. We are simply giving people another option to help.
Furthermore, the distressed counties do not need to catch up, but instead find ways to work together and complement each other. This will create more tourism opportunities to draw in people from across the continent and even the globe.
Lastly, any organization on the planet has the opportunity to become a Sponsor.
If interested, please see our Adopt an Organization Information page to learn more and find what counties apply.
Our focus will be on the hospitality and tourism side of the service industry.
Environment. Natural Resource Conservation is one of our guiding principles. ASTC hopes to be a positive influence and help new organizations start out with sustainable models. One thing we are looking into now are certifications. Please see our thoughts on sustainable tourism certifications.
Economy. ASTC hopes to help new organizations that complement our cultural and natural resources. High quality hospitality and tourism organizations will generate more services to attract tourists.
There are many positive side effects to this. Some are new families and retirees relocating to the region, and a greater likelihood of industry manufactures doing business in rural Appalachia.
Please read over what ASTC is exited about to learn more about the potential.
Society. Many consumers and citizens are looking for more transparency and sustainability from organizations. We hope to help entrepreneurs create models that allow tourists to become stakeholders. This will create a better value exchange and help people become more connected.
Please see our Entrepreneur Incubator page for more details.
Tourism Services and Social Media
ASTC currently uses flickr, YouTube, and Twitter to help tourists make more informed decisions.
For 2021 we hope to create an index of pictures, videos, and twitter accounts that help tourists make more informed decisions.
We hope to influence and motivate twitter account managers to reply quickly to questions and concerns that trip planners and tourists may have.
With flickr, we have created Collections and Albums for Tourists to look over.
Please consider joining our flickr group page to help us with content. While ASTC is out in the field, we will use flickr to show our travels.
With YouTube, we have Channels and Playlists for trip planners to look over. Unlike flickr, it is much easier to gain access to these videos.
ASTC has created a Twitter index with links to help Trip Planners and Tourists.
Sadly, many tourism service organizations do not have Twitter accounts to help tourists and it only takes minutes to set up a free account. There is a market failure here.
Creators of such Twitter accounts can rely upon the hospitality of residents who know the area the best, and who actually like to help travelers and strangers. Therefore, tourism employees can mostly moderate content. It is imperative that every tourist receive a response because they know people are reading and choosing not to connect with them.
ASTC only uses active twitter accounts for our state information lists.
For example, KY.
Click on the Twitter logo to view our index. Click here to join the discussion on our forum.
Environment. More informed tourists will travel to less crowded outdoor sites or reschedule if given the current conditions on the ground, and alternatives that are similar. This helps reduce negative impacts on the landscape and natural resources.
Economy. A more satisfied tourism experience will create return trips and positive reviews in person and on social media.
Society. Helping others connect with one another should be the greatest achievement of social media. Just a few friendly stakeholders on each twitter account can help out strangers with important and relevant information which could mean all the difference in a good or bad outing in our region of Appalachia.
If you have any recommendations for these 5 goals, please complete our stakeholder form.
In Autumn, ASTC will debut the 5 goals for the following year. Complete the stakeholder form to give us ideas!