Volume 2 Issue 6 December 2004 Applied Research Note 1

Differences in tourist and host perceptions of Appalachia: Elasticity in Place Identity

by David Matthew Zuefle

Appalachia, like many regions around the world, exists without absolute and universally-accepted borders. Depending on whether one is speaking in historical, political, economic, agricultural, geographic, or cultural terms, Appalachia may be described as so large to include all or parts of thirteen states and as small as consisting of only three or four states in the mountain South. This research note briefly reviews the literature concerning the differences in perception regarding Appalachian identity and geographic place as described by cultural insiders and outsiders, presents and interprets new data gathered in southern Ohio, and comments on the relevance of perceptions of cultural outsiders to contemporary tourism marketing efforts.

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