MOUNTAIN MUSIC TRAIL RECOGNIZED AS FINALIST

MOUNTAIN MUSIC TRAIL RECOGNIZED AS FINALIST FOR BRITISH GUILD OF TRAVEL WRITERS AWARD

Nominated by guild member for Wider World category

CHARLESTON, WV (November 7, 2016) — Wild, Wonderful West Virginia today announced the Mountain Music Trail was one of three finalists nominated for the 2016 British Guild of Travel Writers tourism initiatives international award. The Mountain Music Trail and Limalimo Lodge in Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia, received commendations in the Wider World category, which was won by Egypt’s Sinai Trail. Winners were announced in London Sunday, Nov. 6, the eve of the World Travel Market.

“We’re very excited the Mountain Music Trail has been recognized internationally,” Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said. “Our Appalachian heritage is a blend of cultures from many different countries — so in a way we’ve come full circle by sharing our music and dance with the world.”

Cara Rose, Executive Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau and coordinator of the Mountain Music Trail, said, “The nomination in and of itself is recognition that Mountain Music Trail partners have accomplished a great deal with this initiative. This is a testament to the potential our regional initiative has and that cultural tourism works.”

London-based travel writers Paul Wade and Kathy Arnold traveled the trail in 2014 and nominated the project. Each tourism initiative has been completed within the past three years, each was nominated by a Guild member and selected via a secret ballot of the Guild’s 270 professional journalists, writers, editors, photographers, broadcasters and bloggers. The Guild members proposing a project were asked to evaluate the initiatives on the basis of tourism potential and benefit to the local community.

Mountain Music Trail Background
The five counties making up the Mountain Music Trail include Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker and are connected by 200 miles along scenic Route 219. Community-based old-time musical expressions in the east-central Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia have long been associated with the topography, the traditions, the dancing, the celebrations and the folk culture of the area. The Mountain Music Trail seeks to encourage, present, promote, publicize, facilitate and educate the public about the various musical forms and folkways that reflect the values of the people living in the five county region of West Virginia.

Wider World Finalists / Descriptions
The Mountain Music Trail, West Virginia, USA (nominated by Kathy Arnold), a grass-roots effort to preserve music, dance and folk customs in 5 counties along Highway 219. The 150- mile-long trail links musicians, artists, instrument makers and galleries selling locally-made crafts, plus villages, restaurants and places to stay. Here, only 3.5 hours from Washington DC, hear ‘Old Time’ fiddle and banjo music, handed down from early settlers. (mountainmusictrail.com

).The Sinai Trail/ درب سيناء (nominated by Ben Hoffler). Running for 200km from the Gulf of Aqaba to St Katherine, Egypt, this long-distance public hiking trail seeks to change the image of the region. Managed entirely by local communities, this free, bilingual trail was developed with NGO funding, creating jobs and opportunities for local people. As well as presenting some good news after five years of political turmoil and revolution, this trail also helps document the Sinai’s traditional Bedouin knowledge, a rich, still-largely unwritten chapter of our human past. (sinaitrail.org

).Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia (nominated by Lottie Gross), a luxury eco lodge in the stunning Simien Mountains. As well as providing a sublime place to stay, this joint venture of two Ethiopian mountain guides provides jobs for local people, trained to become receptionists, waiters, cooks and more. The lodge is built using an eco-friendly traditional rammed earth method for the walls, with furniture, linen and decor from Ethiopian artisans (limalimolodge.com

).Real. Excitement * Real. Family Time * Real. Mountain Flavor * Real. Adventure * Real. Fun * Real. Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. You can find it here. Call 800-225-5982 or visit GoToWV.com.

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