CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Do you have a farm, restaurant or destination you want the West Virginia Division of Tourism to promote as part of the state’s new West Virginia Farm and Food Trail?
Wild Wonderful West Virginia is calling upon farms, orchards and restaurants or other facilities that work with local producers to bring farm products to the table to submit an application to become part of the new trail the Division of Tourism will be promoting this summer. The Food & Farm Trail will highlight the authentic culinary experiences and growing agritourism industry that makes the Mountain State unique.
Agritourism, broadly defined, involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch to experience the daily operations or special events of that particular location. It is a form of niche tourism that is considered a growth industry in the United States.
West Virginia is taking the definition one step further by integrating the use of locally grown food and animal products into facilities visitors would normally visit – restaurants, resorts, bed and breakfasts and so forth.
According to Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin, the food-and-farm experience is what visitors crave when it comes to rural life authenticity.
“Our research has shown that travelers seek out real food and farm experiences – whether it’s picking your own fruits and vegetables at an area farm or enjoying dinner at a restaurant that uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients in its dishes,” Goodwin said.
The West Virginia Food and Farm Trail will be an ongoing promotion with content mostly online this first year.
“The season is upon us right now,” said Jane Bostic, director of public relations for the Division of Tourism.
“Food to table is really big right now, so it’s essential that we begin promoting right away, ” Bostic said. “We can look at print pieces and other marketing ideas once we have established the trail and what it contains.”
Tourism industry partners, farmers and other services with food and farm related events, attractions and/or destinations may submit an application online at gotowv.com/food-farm-application/ to be considered as part of the West Virginia Food and Farm Trail.
For more information and answers to questions, call Jane Bostic at (304) 957-9346 or email [email protected].