University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Recreation and Park Administration


Recreation and Park Administration




Brian G. Clark Ed.D

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


Since the decline of coal mining Eastern Kentucky has turned to nature based tourism in attempts to restimulate the failing/declining economy. Nature based tourism may not be the solution to solving the economic crisis in Easten Kentucky, but tourism can have many benefits within communities in the region. Over the last 20 years the continued increase in nature based tourism in Eastern Kentucky has created an economic boost within the region. Since there is very little research that has been done specifically on nature based tourism in Eastern Kentucky. During 2020 recreation tourism brought in $4 Billion and supported 46,957 direct jobs to the state of Kentucky (Outdoor Recreation Association, 2022). During our research we found that a lack of resources and infrastructure are barriers to the continued growth of tourism in the region. We are attempting to pinpoint where future research should focus as well as where there is room to improve and expand nature based tourism within the region.

Keywords: Eastern Kentucky, tourism, nature-based, economic impact, Appalachia