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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

World VIUPoints Speaker Series Review: Dr. Melissa S. Wedde

 On December 1st, 2016, the World Leisure Centre of Excellence held their last World VIUPoints Speaker Series event of this year, hostingDr. Melissa S. Weddell from theAppalachian State University in Boone, USA. Her public presentation was titled “Take that Exit: Attracting Tourists to Rural Destinations in the Appalachian Mountains”.
Dr. Melissa S. Weddell proposed that as resource industries decline, tourism has become an alternative contributor to the struggling rural economy of the Appalachian Mountain region. Initially implementing the strategy has met with resistance from few stakeholders.Going ahead, partnership and collaboration have made implementation successful through mutual cooperation and understanding.

Given this trend, Dr. Weddell discussed the implications her research has had for various stakeholders including local residents, businesses, community organizations and the government in Appalachian Mountain region. She elaborated on the importance of tourism and its overall impact in the entrepreneurial community and emphasized the importance ofproviding education opportunities and skills development. She concluded her presentation with a strategic plan to balance the opportunities in rural tourism with the growing needs of stakeholders.

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