5-7-13 2013 expected to be big year for tourism in West Virginia

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National Travel and Tourism Week May 4-12

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – May 4-12 is National Travel and Tourism Week, the West Virginia Division of Tourism has announced. The week, designated by the U.S. Travel Association, is designed to highlight the significance that travel and tourism plays in driving state and local economy, not only in revenue produced, but jobs created.

A 2010 economic impact study by Dean Runyan and Associates found that travel spending in West Virginia totaled $4.27 billion. Travel-generated state and local tax revenues totaled $582 million, and travel-generated employment numbered 44,400.

According to a 2011 Longwoods Travel USA overnight visitor report, 86 percent of travel in West Virginia was leisure-based. Top reasons for travel included touring, gaming, outdoor recreation, special events and resorts.

“We have so many reasons to visit West Virginia, and 2013 is going to be a big one,” said Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver. “The state is anticipating several major events this summer, including West Virginia’s 150th birthday celebration, the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament, and the opening of the new Scout reserve in the New River Gorge.”

On June 20, West Virginia will celebrate its 150th anniversary of statehood. Events are planned at the State Capitol from June 20-23 as well as in Wheeling, which served as the new state’s first capital in 1863. Additional sesquicentennial celebrations, re-enactments and exhibits will take place throughout the state all year. For more information, visit the official West Virginia’s 150 Birthday website, www.birthday.wv.gov.

The state also is readying for the grand opening of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in July. The reserve has been selected to host the 2013 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree, which is expected to draw 50,000 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers and staff from all over the country.

The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR FedEx Cup on July 1-7 will be broadcast live on television and includes concerts by Kenny Chesney and Aerosmith.

“The state tourism industry will get a big boost from visitors to these and other events,” Carver said. We would like to use the opportunity to show visitors everything West Virginia has to offer for all four seasons  from its beautiful scenery, to outdoor recreation, cultural activities, dining, shopping and more.

For more information or to order a free 2013 West Virginia Official State Travel Guide, visit the West Virginia Division of Tourism online at www.wvtourism.com of contact 1-800 CALL WVA.

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