CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia’s tourism industry grew for the second consecutive year in 2018. Governor Jim Justice announced this trend outpaces national growth by 58 percent.
The findings come from yearly economic impact research. It shows traveler spending in the mountain state grew at a rate of 6.5 percent, totaling $4.55 billion in 2018.
In two years, traveler spending in West Virginia grew 9.9 percent. Governor Justice added local tax revenue and tourism-supported jobs were also up in 2018.
“It’s an incredible time to be a West Virginian. This state is on the move and so is our tourism industry,” Gov. Justice said. “When I took office, I made tourism a top priority because I knew it had all the potential in the world. All we had to do is find a way to tell our story and we’re finally doing it. We have an absolute superstar in Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. I congratulate her and the entire Tourism Commission for all their hard work to help make this growth possible. I am committed to making sure our tourism industry grows for many more years to come!”
The research was prepared by Dean Runyan and Associates, a leading national firm for tourism economic research. Runyan economists have studied the impact of West Virginia’s tourism industry since 2000.