CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice wants the West Virginia Legislature to approve $20 million for the state’s Tourism Office to spend on marketing West Virginia.
Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby says that investment could generate $160 million in economic activity across West Virginia.
Speaking with Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association on the state newspaper industry’s new weekly video program, Ruby said a recent study by the Office of Tourism shows the current return on investment (ROI) is $8 of economic activity for every $1 spent by the state.
The governor’s proposed budget, plus some public/private partnership spending on WV tourism marketing should put the return past the $160 million mark, she explained.
While attractive promotional videos, state photos and successful social media campaigns matter, Ruby said the Tourism Office must stand on its economic impact and offer value to the governor, the Legislature and the taxpayers of West Virginia.
“West Virginia Press InSight” is the newspaper industry’s new 30-minute weekly video program, offering viewers a look at legislative and news coverage from community newspapers across West Virginia. The video program will be available on local newspaper websites and also featured in a weekly print story available to all newspapers with additional social media and website links and material.
Hosted by Tom Hunter and Betsy DeBord, the show includes a West Virginia Press InDepth interview segment with Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. The show also features a weekly segment on tourism in West Virginia. The program is supported by AARP WV, WVUToday, West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism industry, West Virginia Tourism Office, and the West Virginia newspaper industry.