ARC Awards $35,000 to CCEDC toward Tourism Development


WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Appalachian Regional Commission announced today approval of a grant in the amount of $35,000 to the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) for the Clarion County Destination Improvement Initiative that will create an actionable plan to increase tourism revenue and economic development and provide direction to three organizations responsible for leveraging Clarion County’s tourism potential.

ARC funds will be used to develop a Destination Marketing Plan (DMP) that will drive tourism and related economic growth within the county and the region. This effort is part of a cohesive strategy to leverage the potential for tourism in the county, known as the Destination Improvement Initiative (DII), launched by the development of the Clarion County 2030 Economic Development Strategy in 2021. A preliminary component of the DII, the Tourism Industry Analysis (TIA), will be completed soon and encompasses tourism market research, an inventory of existing tourism assets, and a review of relevant case studies. The proposed project will hire a destination marketing firm to review the findings and recommendations found in the TIA, engage tourism stakeholders, identify new target markets, identify the most effective media and strategies for tourism marketing, define benchmarks to measure the success of tourism initiatives over the next five years, create placemaking concepts and a destination
brand, and identify the roles and responsibilities of various local/regional stakeholders that will enact the plan. It is envisioned that the plan will include downtown revitalization concepts and the development of new assets. The success of the DMP will be measured by increases in overall tourism spending and lodging, percentage of market share within PAGO and PA Wilds regions, number of new marketing strategies, and the development of new tourism
assets/attractions. Local funding for all DII activities are provided by Clarion County hotel tax revenues.

In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $35,000, bringing the total project funding to $70,000.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

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