National Extension Tourism (NET): 2021 Conf. Proceedings

INTRODUCTION There is a role for Extension partners in supporting a community in developing, expanding, or marketing a scenic byway. Roles might include options for educating about National and Scenic Byways, providing development support for expanding or creating a Byway through collaboration, development of partnerships and event grant writing. BYWAY DESIGNATION With the goals to recognize, protect, and promote the nation’s most outstanding roads, the National Scenic Byways Program is administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Through state departments of transportation, communities can apply for designation as a State or National Scenic Byway. The National Scenic Byways Program positively impacts local communities and the tourism industry. In 1991, Congress established the program and strengthened it further with the passage of additional legislation in 1998 and again in 2005. The Scenic Byways program has two principal components including designation and funding. The program helps communities balance economic development and resource conservation. As of 2021, there are 184 federally designated byways (National Scenic Byway Foundation). State Byway Programs are typically grassroots efforts to heighten awareness of States’ historical and intrinsi c resources. They are categorized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines of cultural, historical, archeological, recreational, natural, and scenic. FHWA Policy 5.18.95


Recent research on travel sentiments, taking into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic, indicate that road trips remain relevant and scenic byways can be an important asset in capturing these guests and overnight visitors. In Ohio, the average spending per person on a day trip is $106 while the average spending per person for an overnight stay is $327 (Ohio Tourism 2021 Report)

2021 NET Conference Proceedings


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