The diverse culinary heritage of West Virginia and the Appalachian region provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase our local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and a number of other culinary destinations and events.
Charleston, WV (PRWEB) July 31, 2014
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chairman Earl F. Gohl in announcing the nationwide premier of the Bon Appétit Appalachia culinary map-guide.
The announcement capped events at Capitol Market in Charleston designed to recognize and promote food growers and producers unique to Appalachia. The guide recently debuted as an insert in the summer issue of Food Traveler magazine. Bon Appétit Appalachia features 283 locations, including 21 from West Virginia, showcasing some of the most distinctive food destinations across the 13-state Appalachian region.
“West Virginia is home to an authentic and vibrant agricultural community, and we’re proud to host the national launch of the Bon Appétit Appalachia map-guide in the Mountain State,” Gov. Tomblin said. “The diverse culinary heritage of West Virginia and the Appalachian region provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase our local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and a number of other culinary destinations and events.”
Tourism Commissioner Amy Shuler Goodwin said she is excited about the amount of national exposure the state will gain from the campaign.
“West Virginia has so many outstanding qualities, from beautiful scenery to friendly people to an abundance of recreational and cultural attractions,” Goodwin said. “I’m happy to introduce travelers to another aspect of what makes us so wild and wonderful: our creative culinary fare.”
Tourism creates business and is an important and growing segment of the state’s economic structure, she added. In the 2012 calendar year, travel spending by visitors in West Virginia was nearly $5.1 billion—equivalent to approximately $13.9 million per day. According to Mandala Research, nearly 80 percent of all leisure travelers list dining and other culinary activities as a top priority.
Earl F. Gohl, on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission, toured the 13-state region last month with colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. Growth in local food systems has been one of the most promising economic developments the region has seen in decades, he said.
“Local food systems are growing throughout Appalachia and their growth is making important economic contributions in rural communities.” Gohl said. “Our Bon Appétit Appalachia map-guide showcases a broad range of exciting destinations for tourists in the new food landscape of the region.”
In addition to the map insert in Food Traveler magazine, the food guide also is available as an interactive feature online at http://www.visitappalachia.com, where additional information specific to each location is available.