Community Resources & Economic Development

Destination Competitiveness

A statewide destination competitiveness study to assess the state of West Virginia’s competitiveness as a tourism destination in relation to other competing and neighboring destinations at two levels:

1) regional, including the eight tourism regions of West Virginia;

2) state level

This study considers perspectives of the four important groups of stakeholders: host community residents, host community service providers, destination leadership, and visitors.

The study was initiated in the Northern Panhandle and New River Gorge regions in 2013 and is a collaboration between the WVU Extension Service and the Rec., Parks, and Tourism Resources (RPTR) Program. A technical report will be provided to these two regions in the fall of 2014.

The study seeks to identify:

  • The Level of Regional Collaboration
  • Visitor Motives
  • Importance & Performance of Destination Attributes
  • Tourism Development Needs
  • Trip Characteristics
  • Demographics

The regional research project is providing valuable information for our destination marketing organization. The data is showing us exactly who our visitors are, where they come from and why they came to the Northern Panhandle. Armed with the right visitor information allows us to target our marketing dollars in areas that will bring the highest return on investment.

Frank O’Brien – Executive Director of the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau