Promoting Appalachia with Maggy Kriebel—How tourism fuels economies and highlights Appalachian Culture
How are we promoting Appalachia from within? In this episode of The Hollercast, we sat down with Maggy Kriebel to talk about
- the things she loves about the area,
- how tourism spurs economic development,
- and the role that marketing plays in her department’s success.
Maggy is the Director of Tourism for the city of Corbin, Kentucky. She has a deep love for the state, especially its people and their perseverance in the face of adversity. Before she came into her current role, she worked in Parks and Recreation. There’s a lot of overlap between her previous jobs and her tourism position. She still works closely with team members while promoting Appalachia.
Being a Director of Tourism means being able to do many different things every day. Personally welcoming tourists is part of her job. Additionally, she’s responsible for designing and placing ads for national publications. Online advertising is another piece of the puzzle. Maggy loves getting to work with other government officials to further their goals for the city.
One of the many things Maggy is pushing forward is the need to create a destination. There are many great things in our region but it has to be repackaged for a multi-day visit for economic stimulation. Examples of these projects are the development of a Splash Pad, creating signs directing people to downtown, and the development of the city museum.
Tourism is the world’s largest industry and Eastern Kentucky has so many things to offer. Whether it’s an attraction, restaurants, unique boutiques, or outdoor elements, there are things worth visiting. Tourism plays a vital role in the economic stimulation and development of a state. For example, 71.6 million visitors in Kentucky spend nearly $6 billion. Kentucky doesn’t have major industries and massive job opportunities but if we put more effort into tourism, it will serve as the sector that will bring in opportunities to the local people.
Marketing and advertising are important in tourism. It is their means of expanding their reach and promoting the region. Corbin markets via special interest publications. For instance, they market KFC in Pioneer Woman and they advertise outdoor activities in Blue Ridge Outdoor magazine. Meanwhile, they advertise Corbin as a destination in the Long Weekend Magazine. However, the city doesn’t target based only on special interests. They plan to target regionally this year by tapping into the Nashville, Tennessee and Dayton, Ohio markets.
“What’s great about Corbin is that we have a little something to offer everyone: history, hospitality, adventure, and more.”
There’s a wrong notion about the people of Appalachia. In other words, the culture of the people here is different than what’s often portrayed in the media. The Tourism Department wants to show the tourists that. It wants to give them the experience of knowing the history of the people of Appalachia. The city offers an authentic experience that nobody else does. We show them something original and we educate tourists at the same time.
Appalachia is teeming with history and this history has been well preserved. The destination development of Corbin is coming along and they invite people to come to our community to experience the vibrancy that the city has to offer.
To learn about all the great things there are to do in Corbin, visit corbinkytourism.com!