Appalachia Sustainable Tourism Collaboration began as a project that Travis Stanley created while working on a Sustainability Business Strategy Certificate requirement while enrolled at the University of Montana. The following summer (2020) he completed a 400 hour internship with the Clinch Ranger District of the USFS and decided that the most needed stakeholder to the region are social entrepreneurs.
Nearing graduation in the Fall of 2020, Travis decided to make ASTC a LLC for several reasons. A LLC offers the best platform to be highly functional and quick moving in its early stages. Based upon stakeholder feedback and networking the organization has the potential to morph into a Partnership, or a Benefit Corporation, or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
To learn more about Travis Stanley see his Personnel page.
ASTC begain as a single member LLC that began in January of 2021, and after 12 months the decision was made to dissolve the LLC status to save on expenses and administrative efforts.
For a better understanding, please read our strategic plan and moderate distance goals.
ASTC prioritizes people over our annual 5 goals. We know that sustainable tourism policy cannot be done without people, so our model is designed from the ground up to take care of people first. We are onboarding specialists, because we have not created a model where we develop tunnel vision with our goals and objectives. We have the ability to help people and their organizations reach self actualization with regards to their personal goals and vision for their communities.
So if you ever hear ASTC complain about being too busy to respond to e-mails or phone calls, call us out on this, because we do not want mission/vision creep.
Service Value Innovation
Our service value innovation is helping tourists and stakeholders make more informed decisions by providing free information and creating discussions on sustainable tourism topics in the Appalachian Mountains of KY, NC, NETN, Virginia, and Southern WV.
Our Tourism and Stakeholder sites allow you to find activities and events to plan your next vacation or learn about tourism policy formation in your community.
One of the Guiding Principles of ASTC is to help tourists make more informed decisions. Another Guiding Principle is connecting and energizing stakeholders. Not requiring fees for access on this site gives tourists and stakeholders complete confidence they are receiving the most relevant and available information that can be provided.
To learn more about our model, see the Personnel page.
Travis takes a "Mission, Men, Me" approach with the management of ASTC. If the tourist and stakeholders are taken care of first, and then the personnel of ASTC are taken care of next, then everything will fall into place to the betterment of Travis Stanley. This leadership and management approach can be better understood in the book called, The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons From a Former Delta Force Commander.
This approach is very similar to Servant Leadership.
The foundation of our Guiding Principles is,
Revitalizing Rural Appalachia while Preserving Small Town Character.
We call this our dual mandate.
We call upon our Core Value of reflection to help us honor, respect, and learn from the past of of the variouos groups of peoples and cultures that lived on this landscape.
We call upon our Core Value of vision to revitalize the economy by creating sustainable tourism services and opportunites, which in turn will retain and attract more residents and more industry jobs.
But our Core Value of fairness is what makes the dual mandate possible. Without it we loose the connection of getting tourists more interested in our region, and we risk alienating stakeholders. Reflect on the past, be fair to all in the present, and look to the future and you will be immune to group think and be the voice of reason for those who are motivated and listening.
It should be noted that ASTC believes that fairness is about being consistent, and that life is a constant struggle to overcome obstacles. There are no real solutions, but only trade offs. We hope to find the best trade offs through collaboration.
Pertaining to culture. For reference, Appalachian is generally related to the various chains of mountain ranges in North America.
The current general five state service area we will focus on for the next several years will be,
KY, NC, NETN, Virginia, and Southern WV.
There is a good amount of intercultural diversity within this five state region, and even the forest ecology and climates are somewhat diverse.
We will focus on promoting the Coal Country areas, which are Far Eastern KY, Far Southwestern Virginia, and Southwestern West Virginia. We believe these areas need the most help with diversifying their economies.
To better understand why North Carolina and Tennessee are also researched and promoted, please read the first couple of pages of our 2nd quarter 2021 Sustainablity Report.
Please consider going to our Stakeholder site to learn more about our Appalachia Region.
We look at these three elements with sustainability:
Please consider going to our Stakeholder site to learn more about Sustainability.
This generally applies to people who leave their hometown to visit another place to have a physical and or emotional experience. They may or may not purchase goods, but they are nearly always looking to make a connection with the visited place. This connection is usually brought about by paid services/goods, and public lands that are generated by taxes, and strangers who are locals.
Please see the Trip Planning page to get started planning your vacation.
Please consider going to our Stakeholder site to learn more about Tourism.
This is the most important word out of the four, because without it the other three have little cohesion. Tourists receive the outcomes of collaboration. Stakeholders help create or conserve the potential for what the region can provide.
Anyone can be a stakeholder, because you just have to care to be one.
"Never turn away someone who cares."
To find ways to collaborate with ASTC please go to our Collaboration page.
Please consider going to our Stakeholder site to learn more about Collaboration.
To learn more on our philosophy please read the blog, ASTC’s 10 Steps to Onboarding potential Members/Volunteers/Clients/Interns to your Organization.
If you would like to learn more about ASTC, please consider looking over our blog section.