Government, Latest News, WVPA Sharing

Tourism Commissioner Ruby: Return on Investment for W.Va. tourism advertising is now $8 on each dollar spent

Governor Justice’s $20 million marketing budget proposal could generate $160 million in economic activity

West Virginia Press Association Report
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Jim Justice wants the West Virginia Legislature to approve $20 million for the state’s Tourism Office to spend on marketing West Virginia. 
Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby tells Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, West Virginia’s $20 million proposed investment in tourism marketing could generate $160 million in economic activity across the state. WVPA Photo.

Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby says that investment could generate $160 million in economic activity across West Virginia.

Speaking with Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association on the state newspaper industry’s new weekly video program, Ruby said a recent study by the Office of Tourism shows the current “Return on Investment” or ROI is $8 of economic activity for every $1 spent by the state. 
The Governor’s proposed budget, plus some public/private partnership spending on W.Va. tourism marketing should put the return past the $160 million mark, she explained.  
While attractive promotional videos, state photos and successful social media campaigns matter, Ruby said the Tourism Office must stand on its economic impact and offer value to the Governor, the Legislature and the taxpayers of West Virginia.
See Ruby’s interview, at the 12 minute mark of the video, and the entire West Virginia Press Insight program on video below: 

“West Virginia Press InSight” is the newspaper industry’s new 30-minute weekly video program, offering  viewers a look at legislative and news coverage from community newspapers across West Virginia. The video program will be available on local newspaper websites and also featured in a weekly print story available to all newspapers with additional social media and website links and material.

WV Press Insight hosts Tom Hunter and Betsy DeBord highlight newspaper coverage from across West Virginia on the weekly video program. WVPA photo.

Hosted by Tom Hunter and Betsy DeBord, the show includes a West Virginia Press InDepth interview segment with Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. The show also features a weekly segment on tourism in West Virginia. The program is supported by AARP WV, WVUToday, West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism industry, West Virginia Tourism Office, and the West Virginia newspaper industry.

In other stories featured on the Jan. 16, WV Press InSight: 

In coverage of Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State Address, The Charleston Gazette-Mail’s Phil Kabler reports the state’s financial future appears brighter, according to the 2019 budget proposed by the Justice administration. Justice presented a $4.35 billion dollar spending plan has $135 million dollars in increased spending, including the first across-the-board pay raises for state employees in four years.

In The Herald Dispatch of Huntington, Taylor Stuck’s report addresses what seems to be the primary reaction to the Governor’s speech: It was good but we need more details.
Del. Matt Rohrbach said he was really looking for more from the governor. West Virginia employment is up. Our GDP is one of the fastest growing in the country,  but … Rohrbach thought Justice was short on specifics on to capitalize on this momentum to move the state forward.

In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Ken Ward Jr. writes about how the West Virginia newspaper industry lost a legend with the death of former Charleston Gazette reporter Paul Nyden.

Nyden, who was 72, died Jan. 6. A legion of friends, sources and elected officials remembered him as a crusading reporter who fought for social justice. He also nurtured dozens of young reporters both in the Gazette newsroom and at his popular Sunday evening dinners.

As Ward noted in his story remembering Nyden, the investigative reporter was seemingly fearless in print, but almost unwaveringly kind in person.


In the Register-Herald of Beckley
Jordan Nelson reported a group of 10 higher education institutions want to help nearly two dozen southern West Virginia counties improve their economies and quality of life.

Nelson’s article on the Alliance for Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, notes the group wants to leverage educational resources and workforce training programs to help create jobs and revitalize communities.
Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said during the announcement that the alliance wants to keep families here at home and rebuild communities. West Virginia State President Anthony Jenkins added it’s a crucial time for our state, and the group can help solve problems facing southern West Virginia.
West Virginia University’s WVUToday news service reports that university dentistry students are working to improve rural dentistry care and outreach. 

WVU’s School of Dentistry fourth-year dentistry students have traveled throughout the state to bring healthy lifestyle choices to rural areas. Over the course of a year, dental students performed more than 17,000 clinical procedures.

In outlining the partnership, WVUToday reports students receive valuable experience, rural dentists get an extra set of helping hands, and state residents get the care they need in an affordable way. WVUToday talked to some of these students about their experiences.

WV Press InSight also highlighted the 2018 Legislative Lookahead, when the news media gathers for a preview of the upcoming session. Recently more than 30 reporters and editors gathered to hear Senate President Mitch Carmichael, House Speaker Tim Armstead and others comment on the 2018 Legislative session

In The Intelligencer of Wheeling, Joselyn King reports that both Carmichael and Armstead said the state’s economy is growing and more budget cuts will not be necessary.
Rob Alsop, vice president for strategic initiatives at WVU, joined Carmichael and Armstead to talk about the WV Forward report, which outlines a plan to improve West Virginia. Among other items, the report calls for more money for rebranding West Virginia, site preparation for business development and tackling the opioid crisis.
In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Ryan Quinn reports teacher seniority might not be the deciding issue when considering staffing cuts at public schools in the future.

Delegate Joe Statler, vice chairman of the House education committee, expects a bill to change that policy and give local school boards more authority to who to keep.

Delegate Robert Thompson, who is also a school teacher, opposes dropping seniority, fearing it will lead to politics and nepotism.
Christine Campbell, president of the American Federation of Teachers’ in West Virginia, fears that more teachers will soon leave the state. Campbell said more money is needed for salaries. “It’s really easy to just travel across the border to work and make a living wage. We have to increase revenue somewhere.”
For more information or to see all segments of West Virginia Press InSight, visit or visit the West Virginia Press Association Facebook page at or Youtube at 


Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address