Tourism Hits the Road
Greater Morgantown CVB takes the town on the road.
There’s a lot to be said for West Virginia’s wild wonder, and there are a lot of people across the Mountain State who are throwing all of their passion and innovation into promoting the state. “It’s such an exciting time for West Virginia, and for our agency in particular,” says Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Tourism. “There is an amazing amount of things to take pride in, and a lot of people who are happy and ready to promote the state.”
That enthusiasm to create awareness has caught fire in Morgantown, where staff at the Greater Morgantown Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) are doing something that has never before been done in West Virginia—taking their town on the road, RV-style. At face value, the RV is a traveling billboard. But more than that, the CVB has outfitted the RV with wrap-around advertising and a customized interior that will allow them to travel around Monongalia and Preston counties and beyond, enabling them to go to their visitors to share information, instead of waiting for people to come to them.
“Tourism has always been a changing market, and with the growth of electronic advertising and web and digital advertising, how the traveler researches and plans a trip has really changed,” says Cindy Coffindaffer, CVB director of marketing. “This RV will make it easier for visitors to find us, which will help us meet our goal, which has always been to put heads in beds.”
Different from a welcome center or chamber of commerce, CVBs strive to represent what is happening locally, keeping in tune with their communities. “CVBs have to be very savvy to everything that keeps them connected to the community—trends, social media, and what people are thinking in terms of interests, events, and opportunities,” says Jacqueline. Ultimately, West Virginia’s tourism leaders have one thing in mind: to champion this wild and wonderful place. “In the tourism industry, our mission is always to sing the praises of West Virginia,” Jacqueline says. “And there is a lot to sing about.”