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by Al Fritsch and Kristin Johannsen









Price: $35.00 
Format: cloth 
ISBN: 0-8131-2288-0 
Subjects: Appalachian Studies, Travel, Kentucky and Regional 
Pages: 320 
Year Published: 2004 


Click here to read a chapter from the book.

Tourism is the world’s largest industry, and ecotourism is rapidly emerging as its fastest growing segment. As interest in nature travel increases, so does concern for conservation of the environment and the well-being of local peoples and cultures. Appalachia seems an ideal destination for ecotourists, with its rugged mountains, uniquely diverse forests, wild rivers, and lively arts culture. And ecotourism promises much for the region: protecting the environment while bringing income to disadvantaged communities. But can these promises be kept?

Ecotourism in Appalachia examines both the potential and the threats that tourism holds for Central Appalachia. The authors draw lessons from destinations that have suffered from the “tourist trap syndrome,” including Nepal and Hawaii. They conclude that only carefully regulated and locally controlled tourism can play a positive role in Appalachia’s economic development.

Al Fritsch, founder of Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest, is the author of several books. He lives in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. Kristin Johannsen is a freelance writer specializing in travel and environmental issues. She lives in Berea, Kentucky.


From Publishers Weekly
The central Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina have a lot to offer tourists: nature treks, farmhouse bed-and-breakfasts, birding, historical hikes and more. Yet many of these attractions are not environmentally friendly. In this volume, environmental activist Fritsch and environmental writer Johannsen urge local communities to gain control of their own finances and local governments to regulate tourism business practices so that the region's resources will no longer be exploited by visitors. The authors encourage "responsible tourism," exposing abusive practices and offering steps to change them. Encompassing history, economics and culture, and using examples of other tourism areas such as Hawaii and Alaska, Fritsch and Johannsen lay out a comprehensive, if sometimes dense, treatise on the importance of fostering green tourism. Their volume is sure to intrigue land developers, business owners and anyone working in the Appalachian tourism industry. 24 b&w photos.  (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)

"'Ecotourism' conjures exotic images of beautiful places in the world, but as this book forcefully points out, it also brings up a slew of questions about the preservation of nature and of culture, and the inherent conflicts between economic development and community rights. The book brings these questions home to the highlands of Appalachia. Beautifully written, filled with anecdotes and illustrations, Ecotourism in Appalachia engages the reader in a search for 'green tourism' in America’s own backyard. The book makes an important contribution to our understanding of tourism in Appalachia and beyond, and will be invaluable to people who study or practice tourism.” -- David Zurick, Eastern Kentucky University

“Thoughtful, packed with enthusiasm and ideas. It is refreshingly readable, genuinely useful work, and offes recommendation to shape ecotourism in the 21st century. . . . It is a fundamental first step for tourism planners, environmentalists, academics and policy makers.” -- P.P. Karan, University of Kentucky, editor of Japan in the Bluegrass
“An important contribution to tourism studies, largely because this is the first attempt to examine tourism development (past, present, and future) within the Central Appalachian region. The authors provide both positive and negative scenarios for future tourism development in the study area that are well reasoned and thought provoking.” -- Richard Alan Sambrook, Eastern Kentucky University


Ordering Information

by Al Fritsch and Kristin Johannsen

Available from The University Press of Kentucky. Price: $35.00.