The finding came from an annual economic impact research conducted. The findings show that traveller spending in West Virginia grew at a rate 30 percent above the national rate in 2017. The increase reversed a four-year decline in which travel-generated spending fell more than USD600 million.
“This is a landmark day for our tourism industry and our economy as a whole,” said Justice. “When I took office, I knew we had to do something to get back on the right track in tourism, and that is exactly what we have done. Tourism needs to be a cornerstone of our economy, and it is great to see it growing again.”
From 2012 through to 2016, travel-generated spending in West Virginia dropped more than 14 percent. In 2017, by contrast, spending grew 3.9 percent, 30 percent higher than the national growth rate of 3.0 percent. Preliminary data indicates that West Virginia’s tourism growth this year may be even stronger than 2017.