Published on : Monday, February 25, 2019
West Virginia tourism has seen a significant increase in visits and revenue as per the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). CVB’s annual meeting was held at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna. It hosted 60 attendees, ranging from local officials to business owners and tourism partners, according to Hannah Duffield, marketing coordinator at the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Chelsea Ruby, executive director of the W.Va. Tourism Office, said that the Greater Parkersburg and Wood County Visitor Bureau contribute substantially to this success.
Ruby and her team are using the new “Almost Heaven” campaign to increase first-time visits to West Virginia. Two years back 87 per cent of visitors were return visitors. The goal is to brand a “New W.Va.” and reverse the negative stereotypes. According to Ruby, there is increase in hotel stays, traffic and overnight stays at the West Virginia state parks.
Last year they had 63 partners and were able to collectively purchase U.S. dollars 2.8 million in advertising. According to Duffield, Greater Parkersburg also partnered with the state Tourism Office to purchase advertising. The state Tourism Office has a co-op advertising program for its partners. The West Virginia Tourism also has an unique opportunity called the W.Va. Explorer’s Blog. The blog is written by people across the state; highlighting events, local businesses, the stories of people and what they are doing in the community.
Ruby added: “Through research, we found that the song ‘Country Roads” had a lot of brand equity so we purchased the song rights”.