Virginia tourism commissioner speaks about new tourism strategy

Published on : Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Virginia Beach tourismVirginia Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby told industry partners that her office’s new strategy is a “road map of where we’re going and what we want to do” to make West Virginia a tourism hot spot.

 
Ruby said that once visitors come to West Virginia, they tend to fall in love with the state and what it has to offer. She said that the challenge is convincing outsiders to give the Mountain State a chance.

 
“Our problem isn’t getting people to come back,” Ruby said at Mountaineer Park Casino for the three-day conference. “Our problem is first-time visitation.”

 
Ruby said the average visitor spends 2.7 days in West Virginia and spends $465. Eighty-six percent of the people who book overnight stays in West Virginia are returning visitors.
To quote Ruby, “We want people to come to West Virginia, fall in love with it and keep coming back. The key is promoting West Virginia as an individual destination. We’re working to bring people to West Virginia to stay longer and spend more money. That’s how we’re going to get the ultimate impact in our communities.”

 
Ruby said they are trying to convince lawmakers to increase their marketing budget by about $15 million. In a cash-strapped state that might be a tall order, she said, “but there’s been a lot of momentum behind tourism. When you look at tourism advertising dollars, not only do they bring a great return on investment, but it comes really quickly,” she said.

 

“If you’re looking at ways to invest in or improve our state, tourism has been proven to improve the state’s overall image.”

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