Community Resources & Economic Development

Community-based Tourism Planning

CRED partners with faculty and students in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources program and Landscape Architecture Program to provide support to conduct tourism planning in destinations that want to strengthen their capacity to manage, develop, and promote tourism. Community-based Tourism planning activities include:

  • Tourism First Impressions
  • Tourism leadership development and capacity building
  • Understanding state and national tourism trends
  • Establishing a mission, vision, goals, and objectives
  • Understanding resident attitudes towards tourism development and visitor preferences
  • Identifying and mapping tourism assets
  • Conducting a SWOT analysis
  • Developing action strategies and prioritizing opportunities for tourism development
  • Designing tourism development scenario options

CRED is currently working with the Tucker County Cultural District Authority in the fall of 2015 in conjunction with a graduate Tourism Planning class and with support from Landscape Architecture department to plan for community-based tourism in this remarkable destination. Stay tuned for updates on the planning process that will guide the development of tourism in this destination over the coming years.

Here’s where we’ve previously conducted Community-based Tourism planning

o Summersville

CRED has been providing support to tourism leadership in Summersville, WV since the fall of 2011 when a team from WVU conducted a Tourism First Impressions assessment of Summersville and the surrounding tourism region. The results of the assessment prompted local leadership to engage CRED in a presentation of tourism strengths and weaknesses to community residents to encourage them to get more actively involved in tourism planning and management and express their priorities for future tourism development.


Local leadership expressed interest in understanding additional residents attitudes and opinions towards tourism development and also visitor preferences for tourism attractions and services. CRED and WVU’s Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources department conducted both resident and visitor surveys in the fall of 2012. The results of local leadership and residents opinions and visitor preferences will be used to create a community-based tourism development plan for the community.

Download the Summersville resident survey report
Download the Summersville visitor survey report

o Doddridge, Richie, Gilmer, and Tyler Counties

A regional Heritage Tourism task force invited CRED to provide planning support to develop a heritage tourism destination. CRED and WVU’s Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources department conducted both resident and visitor surveys in the fall of 2014, developed an asset map, conducted a SWOT analysis, developed prioritized action strategies and created tourism packages. The region is currently initiating phase 2 to being developing marketing programs to link the assets in the region and create awareness of the regional heritage tourism attractions as well as site development plans to fill gaps in assets.

Download the Heritage 4 report

If you are interested in discussing how CRED can support community-based tourism in your community or region please fill out our inquiry form and CRED’s Rural Tourism Specialist will be in touch to discuss availability and pricing.