Outdoor Recreation
Branding & Destinations


Over the last year, the I-22 Corridor Strategic Development Project team has been engaging with community stakeholders to create greater opportunities for the region. Two areas of focus currently include:

  1. Developing a unifying tourism brand for the region
  2. Defining options for physical destinations in the area

The team identified a few common themes shared across communities–beautiful nature, friendly people, handcrafted materials, and historical moments. With all four counties tied to other regional-based tourism and economic development brands, building a unifying brand around outdoor recreation and natural beauty has been identified as an opportunity for growth and development.

At its basic level, tourism development involves creating strategies and plans to inspire people to visit and experience a destination. By Identifying and building upon the things, places, and stories that already exist in the region, the community can develop unique experiences around these assets to encourage visitors to come and stay longer.

Brand Traits & Values

Eleven words emerged when we asked stakeholders across the four counties to imagine a successful outdoor recreation brand image. Now, it's your turn to share your vision for the region’s brand image. Please rank the words below from most important to least important (1=most, 11=least).

Now, what’s your vision for the region? Rank these eight words in order from most important to least important. Then, if we missed something, let us know below.

Name & Tagline

You don’t have to drive far into the region to be captivated by its beautiful rolling hills and sparkling rivers. These ideas came up repeatedly in our conversations, so the team used that theme as inspiration for name and tagline options. A name must 1) inspire someone to come visit, and 2) give a sense of where you are. To inspire, the team identified hills (the region is home to the Southwestern Appalachians with gentle rolling hills) and headwaters (the source of a stream or river, of which this region has several). To identify location, the team identified Northwestern (the area of the state this four-county region falls).

Destinations Development

Area stakeholders are proud of the many destinations and assets available to experience the region's outdoors, culture, history, and arts. When asked what destinations they would like to see developed, feedback aligned around community & tourism centers, lodging, outdoor trails, and adventure-based activities.

During the strategic planning sessions, two categories of development–lodging and community & tourism centers, were identified as priorities. The I-22 Corridor Strategic Development Project team developed case studies on these two topics and presented them at the June 2022 regional meeting.

When people travel, they don’t care about county lines. They just want great experiences. Therefore, it’s essential to think about the region as a whole when planning for physical development. Broadening our thinking beyond city and county lines expands resources for development and empowers the kind of regional cooperation needed to encourage visitors to stay in the region longer.


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