ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) – A nonprofit organization focused on improving the economy in eastern Kentucky plans to host a conference this spring that aims to help communities attract more tourists.

The event on March 7-8 in Ashland will focus on tourism and downtown revitalization, Shaping Our Appalachian Region Inc. said in a statement. It will include sessions on how downtowns can welcome tourists, the role small businesses can play in attracting people, how to market what communities offer to visitors and how some communities are using trail systems to create successful adventure tourism destinations.

“We’re excited to bring this event to Ashland and northeastern Kentucky,” said Colby Hall, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region. “This part of Appalachia Kentucky is home to some innovative and collaborative efforts focused on tourism, downtown revitalization, and entrepreneurship, and we believe this is a great place to have conversations, share best practices, and continue to move our region forward.”

The organization works to fill the economic gaps left by the decline of the coal industry in 54 counties in eastern Kentucky.