This past week highlighted the importance of tourism on West Virginia’s economy, as more than 200 people representing restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and the tourism industry in general made their way up the mountain to Snowshoe Resort for the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
The 2019 Conference kicked off on September 23 with Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby highlighting the impact of the tourism industry on West Virginia. According to the latest data from the West Virginia Tourism Office, the industry had an economic impact of $4.3 million in direct consumer spending, $519 million in state and local taxes, and supported 45,000 tourism-related jobs this past year alone.
Many of the state’s travel and tourism associations, chambers of commerce and conventions and visitors bureaus also heard from guest speakers from around the country, including tourism and marketing experts that shared their ideas on the latest trends, tips and tricks in the tourism industry.
West Virginia’s tourism industry has been bolstered in recent months by the Almost Heaven marketing campaign, which has placed an emphasis on attracting tourists to many of West Virginia’s attractions and recreational adventure opportunities. Also, increased digital marketing and social media have greatly impacted the tourism industry around our state.
As a result, the Tourism Office notes that for every dollar spent on tourism advertising, the state yields $8 in state and local tax revenue and $106 in direct traveler spending. Without tourism-generated revenue, each West Virginia household would have to pay an additional $690 per year in state and local taxes.
There’s no doubt that the future of tourism is bright in West Virginia, and many will be looking to improve on the economic successes we’ve witnessed in recent months.
For decades, Bowles Rice lawyers have provided a broad range of services to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries throughout the state and region. Our latest issue of Views & Visions – Tourism: Great Destinations Close to Home – provides an in-depth look at some of the latest development in the tourism industry.
To the extent that you have interest in or questions regarding West Virginia’s tourism industry, our team stands ready and willing to assist.