Tourism and recreation have a significant impact on the economy of West Virginia. Tourism, specifically, is one of the state’s leading industries, generating billions of dollars annually and providing jobs to thousands of residents.
West Virginia’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities attract visitors from all over the world. The state boasts over 50 state parks, 3 national parks, and countless other outdoor attractions. People love to go here to engage in activities such as white-water rafting, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.
The tourism industry plays a vital role in the state’s economy. In 2019, tourism generated $4.5 billion in direct visitor spending, which directly supported 47,300 jobs and made $636 million in state and local tax revenue.
Tourism businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies, also benefit from the industry. They provide jobs to residents, strengthen the state’s economy, and support the community by offering goods and services.
The impact of tourism on West Virginia’s economy extends beyond just the tourism industry itself. Tourists also spend money at local stores and restaurants, which further bolsters the state’s economy and, in turn, creates additional jobs and helps stimulate small businesses.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism was one of the hardest-hit industries. Everyone worldwide was restricted from traveling and spending time outdoors for health and safety reasons.
Despite this, West Virginia quickly adapted and implemented safety measures to keep visitors safe, helping the industry recover faster than other sectors. One of their local officials’ efforts would include emphasizing the importance of wearing a mask and the distribution of vaccines.
Partner Community Capital (PCAP) is a lending institution that is here to support small businesses engaged in West Virginia’s growing tourism and recreational economy. Check out PCAP’s website for more information about technical assistance and lending opportunities through our Recreational Economies Initiative (REI).
In addition, you can also contact our CDFI if you’re looking for a loan for your small business. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you reach your business goals through the projects and services that we have to offer.