University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

Building Entrepreneurial Capacity in Natural Tourism in Northwestern Pennsylvania

The objective of this project is to encourage entrepreneurial growth around a fledgling “trail town” program organized by the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau. Though extractive industries remain part of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s economy, many rural communities, particularly those adjacent to the area's numerous state and national parks, also have opportunities to build sustainable, natural tourism industries.  However, it is also the case that few communities have the economic infrastructure to meet potential demand for goods and services associated with natural tourism.  In the fall of 2011, students from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will partner with the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau to (1) conduct focus group research and assess the entrepreneurial assets and needs of six communities in the trail system and (2) conduct a phone survey and research the economic development strategies of other trail-oriented towns in Appalachia.

Final Report

Contact Information:

Dr. William Schumann
Visiting Instructor
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
300 Campus Drive
Bradford, PA 16701
Telephone: 814-362-7620


Previous Conference Participation:  2010