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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
The Impact Of The Tourism Economy On The Regional Identity Of Appalachia

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In my presentation, I will demonstrate the economic and social problems that the tourism industry brings to the Appalachian region. The tourist economy is unsustainable and overtakes the ability of a community to form and define its own identity. These problems are directly related to the stereotypes, both positive and negative, that the tourism economy encourages and developed, as well as the relation of the tourism industry in Appalachia to the long standing economic exploitation of the region and the institutions of white supremacy. I have conducted research into both the history of tourism in the Appalachian mountain region as well as researched the contemporary state of tourism in the area. These two factors are intertwined and together, show a history of exploitation and stereotyping that has contributed to the systematic exploitation of the region by industrial outsiders. Through my research, a pattern can be found of outside influence shaping both the politics and the socioeconomic relations of Appalachia to the broader United States, in addition to a history of exploitation, enslavement, and the whitewashing of a rich culture to format a more desirable tourist image of the region and its inhabitants. By the end, I will conclusively show that Appalachian communities must work to build a sustainable economy that is not dependent on tourism and use this self-sufficiency to create a truer sense of regional identity, outside the confines of the stereotypes that have encouraged in the mainstream American consciousness. The tourism industry is not sustainable and has only negative effects on the region as a whole.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:00pm - 1:20pm
012 Karpen Hall