Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tourism, agriculture seen as key in Appalachia



A new report says state government needs to spend more money promoting eastern Kentucky as a tourism destination to help the region pull itself out of poverty following the loss of thousands of jobs because of the declining coal industry.

That was one of dozens of recommendations from a group tasked with creating new economic opportunities for eastern Kentucky. The group presented its findings on Tuesday to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers.

Other ideas included offering small loans to out-of-work Kentuckians to help them purchase the equipment and livestock necessary to start farming.

The group plans to meet again in November to discuss which recommendations it should tackle first. The Appalachian Regional Commission has committed up to $750,000 over the next four years to pay for the group's administrative expenses.