Opinion, WVPA Sharing

Editorial: W.Va. Tourism still in high demand

From The Journal of Martinsburg:

In case you missed it, among the warnings of dire consequences from the election of President Donald Trump was the bottom would fall out of the tourism industry. It was referred to as the “Trump slump.”

Tourists from other countries would not want to visit the United States, either because of their dislike of Trump’s policies or fear that, somehow, they could come to harm here, the skeptics insisted.

It turns out international travel to our country is up in comparison to last year. In April and May, the most recent months for which statistics were available, the increase was 6.6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Some are calling it the “Trump bump.”

Just wait until next year, the anti-Trump cynics respond. Travel plans are made so far in advance that many foreigners had no choice but to come here this year, they add.

That is poppycock, of course. Foreign tourists are coming here because they want to see the United States and meet Americans.

Here in West Virginia, there is a message in the boom: Tourism, already an important facet of our economy, can be even bigger in the future.

A severe budget crunch has forced state officials to shelve some plans they had to increase promotion of our state as a tourist destination. As soon as possible, they should increase their push to attract visitors from other states and other lands, however. Once they come to West Virginia, they will want to return to “almost heaven.”

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