Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby shared the impact of tourism on the state’s budget, as well as her plans and hopes for the future, during WVSAE’s June 13 meeting at the Marriott Town Center Hotel in Charleston.

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Ruby said Governor Justice is hoping to double her marketing budget for the coming fiscal year, but that remains to be determined.  “Every dollar spent on tourism promotion returns $7 to $10,” Ruby said.

She highlighted the new social media promotion, running through June 20, which asks people to submit reasons they love West Virginia.  The campaign has already had an extensive reach in West Virginia and across the country.

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Ruby also shared changes in the way people are researching destinations and making reservations. “People used to call a travel agent to get transportation and lodging.  All that has changed,” she explained.  “People now visit multiple sites for those traditional needs, and are now researching area activities before their arrival.  In fact, most of this research is being done on mobile devices, but many are still actually booking on their desktop or laptop computers, with tablets coming in a distant third as a device of choice.”