The Paintsville/ Johnson County Trail Town Committee will be hosting the 2019 Eastern Kentucky Trail Town Winter Conference at the East Kentucky Manufacturing Institute in Paintsville on Friday, Dec. 8.

The event will serve as an opportunity for the committee and the community to host Trail Town groups from across Eastern Kentucky to review regional adventure tourism plans for the upcoming year.

PJC Trail Town Catalyst Lara Pack explained that the event aims to bring these groups together with a common goal.

 “So, back in the summer, a summit of Eastern Kentucky Trail Towns and potential Trail Towns met in Berea to address the potential of becoming a more cohesive entity that could approach the branding and marketing of Eastern Kentucky adventure tourism,” said Pack. “Adventure tourism is most successful when no county or city lines are drawn — only routes of adventure travel such as rivers and all manners of trails, whether it be biking, hiking, ATVs or horseback riding. Adventure tourists don’t care where the municipality lines are drawn, just where the trail takes them.

“The Commonwealth has so much to offer in almost every facet of the tourism market from history to culinary, musical to artistic, as well as sports and adventure tourism recreation,” she continued. “In the latter, Eastern Kentucky in particular offers the most variety of adventure tourism experiences.

Pack said the conference is the “natural progression of regional branding.”

“As we all move forward, we realize more than ever the potential strength we have when we create synergy of experiences which can translate to even more vacation dollars making their way to our region by luring adventure tourists to a region with multiple varied experiences to be had,” she said.

the community, she said, has plans for a “solid” fourth season of adventure tourism opportunities as well as more regional partnerships in regards to all of the existing and developing trails that transect our county.

“We are working not only to get adventure tourists here, but to keep them here for more than one experience on one day,” Pack said. “We would like to see families make their way to Johnson County and experience everything it has to offer while they enjoy a weeks worth of lodging, eating and shopping. While they are here we can show them all that the region has to offer. If we, in the region, are all creating this regional branding and synergy, we will see significant growth in our economic returns in this sector. It makes the most sense if we are all on the same trail to success.”

The event is free to attend and open to the public. A catered lunch will be available to purchase from Hillbilly Hibachi. For more information on the event, visit the Paintsville/ Johnson County Trail Town Committee’s Facebook page.

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