AFHA Thematic Tour Map Project Request for Proposals

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Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
Thematic Tour Map Project Request for Proposals

Appalachian Forest Heritage Area has been working since 2001 in 16 counties of the highlands of West Virginia plus 2 counties of western Maryland on conservation, and community and heritage tourism development to benefit our forest communities. One of AFHA’s primary goals is to develop thematic tours that network and link sites across our region in order to increase tourism. Primary funding for this project is from ARC FlexEGrant through the West Virginia Development Office.

AFHA is seeking proposals from qualified individuals to execute the following scope of work for our organization.

The distinct products to be produced will be:

  • AFHA tourism plan identifying the framework for development of multiple thematic tour maps for AFHA
    • Help facilitate development of a tourism plan for AFHA 16 county region in West Virginia. AFHA staff and volunteer project team will provide substantial support and decision making and be responsible for compiling the plan, with the consultant providing advice and participating as part of the planning team.
    • Working from the thematic framework already developed by AFHA, the tourism plan will determine functional sub-theme groupings upon which to base on-line thematic tours across our region.
    • Discussion will include scope of proposed “tours” including practical number of sites within each sub-group, inter-relationship between themes and geographic areas, and feasibility of user-choice site listings compared to suggested itineraries.
    • The consultant will identify and work with project team to determine the best appropriate online platform for AFHA thematic tour maps, to be recommended in the plan. The development platform selected should be useful, expandable, and easily accessible for generating the thematic maps into a content rich, user friendly environment that may be deployed on multiple platforms and media. The selected platform needs to also be affordable and feasible for future development and updating of tour maps by AFHA staff beyond the timeline of this project. Currently AFHA is working with Arc GIS Story Maps software, and has done a previous tour using basic google maps, but other platforms may be considered.
    • Written plan will be drafted by AFHA project team by November 1, 2016, for review and comment. Final version agreed and complete by January 15, 2017.
  • Asset mapping, including networking and building partnerships, with heritage, cultural, natural, and community asset sites
    • Identify a process and platform for asset mapping database that is functional for developing the on-line tour map projects as well as sortable for multiple purposes.
    • With AFHA project team, identify criteria and categories of information to be collected.
    • AFHA project team will have primary responsibility for partnering with sites and generating content, with assistance from consultant on networking and identifying gaps.
    • Sites may include trails, landmarks, festivals, historic sites, and outdoor recreation opportunities, as appropriate for each sub-theme grouping.
    • Facilitate asset mapping including design and implementation of database. Ensure data entry is complete for prototype project sites.
  • Increase in capacity for AFHA organization to conduct asset mapping and update and develop the tour maps
    • Work with and train the AFHA project team staff in use of database so they can have capacity for future responsibility for maintaining database and for expansion to future projects.
    • Train AFHA project team staff on development and maintenance of tour maps using selected tour map platform. Trained individuals should have capacity to build future tour maps for the remaining identified sub-themes.
  • One completed thematic tour map prototype, posted and available for tourist use on AFHA website.
    • Develop and implement one prototype themed tour using selected platform. Project team will select the topic for the prototype tour from the planning discussion.
    • Working with AFHA project team determine aesthetic components and overview context text and images for the tour map
    • Working with AFHA project team and database content, identify and select images and text to be included in tour map for each included site
    • Complete prototype for review no later than December 1, 2016. Following review and comment by AFHA project team, make revisions for final version posting by January 15, 2017.

In addition, consultant shall:

  • Maintain communication with AFHA project team throughout the project to insure accurate exchange of information and deadline goals.
  • Be available for periodic meetings in person and online/telephonically to discuss project and progress.
  • Be available for occasional possible public meetings to facilitate planning, discuss project and perform outreach.
  • Complete project by January 15, 2017

Qualified individuals (or teams) selected for this project will:

  • Have appropriate experience and/or education suitable for this scope of work. A minimum of bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Be able to demonstrate previous success with at least one digital online mapping platform, and preferably multiple platforms.
  • Present a portfolio of related projects with their resume.
  • Have or gain familiarity with AFHA and its assets.
  • Be able and willing to work with multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process.
  • Demonstrate impeccable communication skills.
  • Be able to complete described project by deadline of January 15, 2017

Proposals should include

  • cover letter with cost bid, itemization by task is preferred.
  • project proposal outlining proposed process and benchmarks for completion of above products
  • resume for individual and/or team members
  • examples of previous work

Please send proposals by email to:

Any attachments not suitable for email may be submitted by weblink, dropbox, or google drive. Please contact us to ensure communication of these documents.

Proposals should be received by 5 pm on June 20, 2016.

 AFHA reserves the right to extend deadline if sufficient acceptable proposals are not received. AFHA reserves the right to reject any proposals for any reason.

For questions call Phyllis Baxter at 304-642-7427 or Logan Smith at 304-636-6182.


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