Social Entrepreneur’s Vision of Tourism for Appalachia

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Social Entrepreneur’s Vision of Tourism for Appalachia

New for 2021, Appalachia Sustainable Tourism Collaboration, LLC has a vision for tourists to become stakeholders in the five state region of KY, NC, NETN, SWVA, and Southern WV, and needs your help.

The path to this vision begins with ASTC’s mission of helping create sustainable high quality experiences for tourists. Hospitable locals who enjoy helping trip planners and tourists will be a major contributor towards this mission. ASTC focuses on flickr, YouTube, and Twitter to generate content. Equally important are new and current organizations who focus their models on looking after the environment, economy, and society for many generations. ASTC needs your help to better understand what sustainable tourism means to you and your community.

Locals must also voice their opinions on sustainable tourism and share their vision with each other so that there is a better understanding of each other’s interests and agendas before working together towards common goals and forming tourism policy.

This new social enterprise believes that transitioning tourists into stakeholders happens when organizations have transparent and sustainable models for tourists to understand and potentially help support. Such examples of support include frequent returns for goods and services, making a donation, volunteering, or relocating their family to a rural Appalachian community to become more involved.

ASTC was created by Travis Stanley. In 2013 Travis finished his enlistment in the US Navy and spent several years traveling the USA and developing an interest in hospitality/tourism while studying the dynamics and potential for tourism in Southwest Virginia and the surrounding states. In the summer of 2020, Travis completed a 400 hour college internship with the University of Montana and the Clinch Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. During the asset inventory hikes, Travis decided that the most needed stakeholder to the region are entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs usually have the most to lose, yet are very flexible in their analysis and decision making because they are the least constrained by subsidies and group think from institutions", said Travis Stanley, creator and President.

Travis reports that an important objective for ASTC and beyond will be to help entrepreneurs and locals see the potential for tourism in Appalachia. Travis continues with, “ASTC will also provide free consultations to entrepreneurs to help with business model synthesis and strategic planning. Also, ASTC would like to be known as a fair organization that identifies market failures, and then finds pragmatic solutions to eliminate them.”

ASTC’s website has forums, blogs, and most importantly documents third party activities and calendar events to help tourists plan their ideal trip. ASTC also helps stakeholders network and make more informed decisions and build stronger coalitions. Travis will spend much of early 2021 finding activities and events to put on the ASTC websites, and working on the annual ASTC goals for 2021.

About Appalachia Sustainable Tourism Collaboration, LLC

ASTC is a single member LLC that started in 2021, and is registered with the state of WV.

For 2021 there are no official Headquarters.

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, SWVA, 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.

Our mission is to help create sustainable high quality experiences for tourists.

Our vision is a region where tourists become stakeholders.


Name of Press Contact: Travis Stanley, President of ASTC

Phone: 276-282-4154

Email: appalachiastc.org@gmail.com

Website: appalachiastc.com


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Within a year of becoming a social enterprise we at Appalachia Sustainable Tourism Collaboration have found our biggest market failure to be the huge divide that prevents connecting tourism attraction