Developing a Tourism Economy: The Kentucky Trail Town Initiative
Track Leader: Elaine Wilson
In every region of Kentucky, significant natural resources are intertwined with quaint, picturesque communities rich with opportunity for tourism development. Your town can benefit from these vast resources by providing outdoor adventure seekers connections to land and water trails as well as access to essential services and supplies. In addition to their enjoyment of outdoor adventure, trail users also want to shop, take in theatrical and musical performances, purchase Kentucky crafted souvenirs, stay overnight and visit other attractions. By connecting these resources, your town can become a certified Trail Town community.
Join track leader, Elaine Wilson, as she guides you through the process to create a vibrant, healthy tourism economy for your community while preserving its special sense of place.
Participants will experience a condensed, mock adventure as we maneuver through the Kentucky Trail Town Development Process. It will cover organization, town/asset assessments, available resources, and development of an action plan for connectivity of trails to town services: a how-to tourism development journey.
Track Capacity: 25
Who should attend?
Individuals working in the tourism industry; Chamber of Commerce membership and leadership; Mainstreet managers; development groups; community leaders; and city and county officials.
What can I expect to learn?
- How to create a vision, organize, and motivate your community as you navigate the process to become a Kentucky Trail Town.
- How to plan, construct and maintain connector trails from town to your main trail systems.
- How to take assessment data and create a living action plan that becomes the basis for future development.
Physical tools and takeaways from this session:
- Trail Town Info Packet – A how-to process for capturing trail-based tourism and USB drive
- Kentucky Resource List
- Funding Resource List
- Sample land use agreements and easements
Executive Director, Office for Adventure Tourism
Tourism, Arts, And Heritage Cabinet
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Born in Harrodsburg and raised in Lexington, Elaine currently lives near Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a BS in Education and a graduate of the Southeastern Tourism Society’s Marketing College.
Elaine has worked as an interpreter for the Corps of Engineers at Green River Lake and as a Human Resources Manager for Anaconda, a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield, and as a Visitor Services Manager for Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky. She has more than twenty years of experience in the tourism industry as the Executive Director for the Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourist & Convention Commission and Paroquet Springs Convention Centre. Over the last three and a half years she has led the Outdoor Adventure initiative for the Commonwealth as executive director for the Office of Adventure Tourism. She has also spent over forty years as an outdoor enthusiast, and her background and love of outdoor adventure has given her a valuable insight into what outdoor travelers look for and expect. Her experience with the economic development of the tourism industry in Bullitt County is a testament of her ability to see opportunity, develop a plan, and see it through.