shown: Virgin Falls, Sparta Tennessee
President, The HTC Group
Cheryl M. Hargrove is president of The HTC Group, a company specializing in heritage tourism planning, development and marketing. Clients include American Express Company, the Coca Cola Company, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Department of Travel & Tourism Division, City of San Antonio, Texas, Appalachian Regional Commission, HandMade in America, Randall Travel Marketing, Pennsylvania Artisan Trails, Gatlinburg (Tennessee) Gateway Foundation, and the Asheville (North Carolina) Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other destinations.
In 2007, she served as Associate Director for National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations. Part of the Research, Conservation, and Exploration division of National Geographic Mission Programs, the Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) is dedicated to protecting all the world's distinctive places through wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship. She previously helped CSD produce the first regional geomap for Appalachia. She recently wrote the copy for the current "Driving Tours of Appalachia" map scheduled for distribution by National Geographic this year.
A travel industry veteran, Ms. Hargrove is best known as the National Trust for Historic Preservation's first Director of Heritage Tourism. While at the Trust, she developed the key steps and principles for sustainable tourism focusing on history and culture. She also produced the publication Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism and its companion video, Preserving the Past ... Building the Future.
A faculty member for the National Trust's Share Your Heritage program and Southeast Tourism Society's annual Marketing College, she frequently lectures at national and international conferences and universities. She also consults internationally, including providing ongoing technical assistance to the U.S.-China Arts Exchange to develop and protect the Weishan Valley in Yunnan Province.
Hargrove also served as a member of the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Summit Advisory Committee and the America's Byways Expert Review Panel. She previously worked as a public relations practitioner for both Travel South USA and the Travel Industry Association of America, helping open and manage their respective UK offices. Ms. Hargrove is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, the International Association of Business Communicators, and former chair of the Travel Industry Association of America's Communications Council. She currently splits her time between Washington, DC and St. Simons Island, GA.