Tourism is West Virginia's Ambassador to economic development. Tourism in West Virginia not only creates jobs, income, taxes and wealth, it also maintains good stewardship of our state's natural assets and showcases West Virginia's tremendous beauty. West Virginia has been able to attract tourists and companies from across the globe to visit our state and in 2008 generated $4.4 billion in direct travel spending and $544 million in tax revenue becoming one of West Virginia's leading industries. With the contracting economy WVHTA urges the West Virginia Legislature to support our industry by addressing our concerns as we continue to inform our close neighbors and tourists that West Virginia is the place to enjoy all the benefits an extended vacation or weekend getaway can provide without excess cost.

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 31

(By Senators Browning, McCabe, D. Facemire, Helmick, Williams, Kessler, Unger, Snyder, Stollings, Oliverio, Chafin, Hall, Jenkins, Laird & Minard)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study how West Virginia can implement a plan to fully develop the tourism industry in West Virginia.

Whereas, Travel spending in West Virginia has continuously increased every year since 2000; and

Whereas, Economic impact from direct travel spending in West Virginia totaled $4.38 billion in 2008; and


 

Whereas, Travel spending directly supports 44,000 jobs in West Virginia; and

Whereas, Millions of travel-related dollars are generated annually in every West Virginia county (from $1.3 million to $729.3 million); and

Wheras, West Virginia's landscape, culture and history present tourism development opportunity in very county; and

Whereas West Virginia tourism generated 14 million overnight visitors and 40 million day-trip visitors in 2008; and

Whereas, West Virginia is situated with a day's drive of a large proportion of the United States population; and

Whereas, The tourism industry serves as West Virginia's front-line representatives to the traveling public; and

Whereas, Outdoor recreation pursuits in West Virginia far outpace the national average; and

Whereas, Cultural heritage and tourism pursuits outpace the national average; and

Whereas, Tourism attractions and activities positively contribute to the quality of life for West Virginians; and

Whereas, Despite the economic downturn, West Virginia has remained stronger in tourism-generated revenues than other neighboring states; and

Whereas, Without tourism tax revenues, West Virginia residents would have to pay an additional $799 in annual state and local taxes to maintain current levels of service; and

Whereas, There is no centralized long-term planning at state level that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the state's tourism industry, coordinate various initiatives, and provide strategies to develop, improve and expand tourism industries, and

Whereas, Because the continuing growth and development of West Virginia's economy is of major concern to all our citizens it is in the best interest of the State of West Virginia to implement a plan for the State of West Virginia to develop the tourism industry to the fullest extent possible in order to further diversify West Virginia's economy; therefore be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the implementation of a comprehensive analysis and action plan to fully develop the tourism industry in West Virginia, including the future development of events, attractions, and facilities in the State of West Virginia; and be it

Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2011, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

Join WVHTA

WVHTA’s members represent many of the attractions, restaurants, hotels, suppliers, service providers and employers that contribute $3.9 billion dollars to West Virginia’s economy annually.  WVHTA represents these members to state government and is their connection to similar organizations nationwide. Through the association’s work, members come together to maintain a strong, united voice dedicated to promoting and supporting hospitality and travel in West Virginia

Become a member today!

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West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association | PO BOX 2391 | Charleston, WV 25328 | 304-342-6511 | website by brickswithoutstraw