Although a very rural place, Southwest Virginia has a rich history, culture, arts, music, and recreation. The Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority is tasked with showcasing these unique offerings in several counties and with drawing families and individuals to the area to experience them for themselves.
Our job was to design a site from the ground up which conveys the tone and culture of the region as well as implement a maintainable system. We designed a site which displays the rustic mountain scenery synonymous with the region and also showcases various multimedia depicting the variety of things to do and see. As for populating the over 500 listings on the site, fortunately, Virginia Tourism Corporation makes area events, dining, lodging and shopping destinations available via XML feed to web developers in the Commonwealth. Through our collaboration with Virginia Tourism Corporation, we implemented a system which brings in each of those items nightly so that Heart of Appalachia staff can automatically keep the listings on the VTC site up to date. This frees up more time to for Heart of Appalachia to focus on their mission and ultimate goals. The end result is a site laden with scenic imagery, media, and information for potential visitors to the Heart of Appalachia region of Southwest Virginia.