Be A Tourist in Your Own Town
This week, through Saturday, is National Travel and Tourism Week, a time for all of us here in Greater Morgantown to make time to experience our own breathtaking “backyard” and share those experiences with others. Whether it’s your “Best Dinner Date for Two Under $50 in Greater Morgantown” (see below), taking your children to Coopers Rock for the first time or immersing yourself in performing arts and galleries, residents of Greater Morgantown have a wealth of tourism opportunities right here at home.
The Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is doing its part to promote the week by shining a light on the impact that tourism makes on jobs, economic growth and personal well-being here at home.
You may be familiar with the GMCVB if you visited our website or Facebook page looking for a local event or attraction. Starting today, and continuing every other Thursday, the GMCVB is expanding its communications with a bi-weekly column in The Dominion Post.
The GMCVB is the official tourism marketing agency and the source of travel information for visitors to Monongalia and Preston counties. It is a nonprofit organization funded by lodging tax.
The organization creates a positive economic impact on the Greater Morgantown area by promoting area events, attractions, recreation and facilities, such as the upcoming STIHL Timbersports Professional Lumber Competition and Festival, May 20-21 in the Ruby Community Center at Mylan Park.
Also, the GMCVB provides complementary information and assistance to travelers with three Visitors’ Centers and facilitates group tours, meetings and conferences, including itinerary planning, registration/welcome services and reservations assistance.
Tourism is important not only for Greater Morgantown, but also for West Virginia as a state. According to information released by the West Virginia Division of Tourism, travelers who visit the Mountain State account for $4.5 billion in direct spending. About $527 million in total state taxes are paid by 15.9 million overnight travelers to the state. This amount of spending supports employment for 46,000 West Virginians in the travel and tourism industry.
The recent West Virginia Tourism Act of 2017, passed by state legislature on April 9, provides a new framework for growth and development in West Virginia. The act will create more tourism-related projects for the state and will allow current businesses to grow. It will also replace current marketing programs with more strategic and results-driven programs to reduce costs for travel industry partners.
Graced with four distinct seasons, Greater Morgantown is an extraordinary land of natural beauty. With the help of increased advertising from the state, Monongalia and Preston counties can greatly benefit in economic growth and development.
As part of National Travel and Tourism Week, the GMCVB participated in the first-ever Instagram takeover on May 9 with the state’s Division of Tourism. It provided the GMCVB an opportunity to reach a larger audience, showcasing video of the beauty and adventure that are found around Greater Morgantown.
You can join in on the celebration by participating in the “Best Dinner Date for Two Under $50 in the Greater Morgantown Area” contest on our Facebook page. Snap a photo of your dinner receipt dated between May 7–13 and totaling under $50 for two people. The five comments with the most “Likes” from our followers will each win a $50 gift card. Winners will be announced at 10 a.m. Monday.
Susan Riddle is the executive director of the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau. The GMCVB is a non-profit organization that generates tourism through marketing, advertising, public relations, and communication with tourism partners in Monongalia and Preston counties.
This is the first edition of a bi-weekly column in The Dominion Post.