Campaign to Promote Agriculture and Food Tourism Across Federally-Designated Appalachian Region in New York State

Tioga County, N.Y. - The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the New York Department of State today kicked-off New York's "Bon Appétit Appalachia!" campaign to promote agriculture and food tourism across the federally-designated Appalachian region, which covers portions of 13 states in the U.S., including 14 counties in the Empire State. The initiative will highlight distinctive local food attractions among six categories: farms, farmers markets, restaurants, festivals, wineries and brewery/spirits.

"We've seen such a dramatic increase in activities and tourism around food in the Appalachian region and this campaign will further boost the visibility and visitation of the culinary destinations in the New York Counties that run through historic Appalachia," said Earl Gohl, federal co-chair of ARC.

"New York State has a thriving agricultural industry and has always been at the center of world-class cuisine," said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "This initiative will make it simple for both tourists and locals to locate the very best foods and spirits that our State has to offer, as well as provide local entrepreneurs and businesses the opportunity to market healthy, locally-made products. I'd like to thank ARC for their commitment to rural areas and I'd like to congratulate the New York destinations that are highlighted."

"Tioga County already has many agricultural tourism businesses offering a variety of farm products and rural experiences," said Rebecca Maffei, Director of Tourism for Tioga County. "Agritourism is a growing recreational activity in New York State. Participation in this type of niche, regional marketing program show potential visitors that Tioga County is a destination with a variety of places to visit in one area," said Rebecca Maffei, Director of Tourism for Tioga County.

As sponsor to this campaign, ARC recently launched the "Bon Appétit Appalachia!" tourism map guide (http://visitappalachia.com/bonappetitappalachia/media/), which features 283 distinctive sites, including 26 distinctive destinations from New York. This regional "food farms and flavors" tourism map was published in collaboration with Food Traveler Magazine for national release in the Summer 2014 issue. The project's tourism website (www.visitappalachia.com) highlights more than 350 additional tourism-worthy destinations. In total, more than 84 New York food and farm tourism destinations are featured, including hubs for wine tourism, craft beers, and state-wide festivals like New York's Maple Weekends, 10 farmers markets, 15 farm to fork restaurants, and numerous farms and related festival. All destinations were selected after an online nomination process that took place in the Spring of 2013.

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Contact:

Louis Segesvary (Appalachian Regional Commission) 202-884-7771

Laz Benitez/Edison Alban (New York Department of State) 212-417-5803

Becca Maffei (Tioga County) 607-687-7440