West Virginia Governor Jim Justice today unveiled data that shows a 16.1 percent increase in state hotel occupancy. Combined with a robust average room rate, the occupancy increase also produced a 20 percent revenue increase in a year-over-year comparison.
Joined by the state’s Tourism Commission and dozens of hospitality-industry representatives, the governor announced that the statewide hotel occupancy in June jumped 16.1 percent from June 2017.
“What you see here is hard work paying off,” Justice said.
“Since I started this job, one of my top priorities has been to get the word out about what an amazing place this is. We have four beautiful seasons, the friendliest folks in the world, and activities to fit every budget and interest.
“One of my first decisions in office was to launch a new tourism campaign that would spread that message like never before. West Virginians should be proud of what we’ve done here, because it takes all of us, telling our story and rolling out the welcome mat, to make this happen.”
The governor delivered the news from the front porch of a newly constructed luxury cabin at Chief Logan State Park. Dedicated just last week, the new cabins will serve visitors to the Hatfield-McCoy trail system, one of the state’s fastest growing tourist attractions.
West Virginia Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby attributed the increase directly to the governor's vision.
“From day-one, the governor had a vision for what could happen with West Virginia tourism,” Ruby said.
“The success we’ve seen this year is a direct result of that vision and the governor’s commitment to growing our tourism industry. Tourism means jobs, and the numbers that the governor released today translate into more West Virginians working in a sector that still has enormous room to expand.”
The occupancy gains have been widespread. Justice announced increases for every region of the state and shared year-to-date figures. In the first two quarters of 2018, occupancy is up 11.7 percent, producing revenue growth of 14.9 percent.
“When I took office, our tourism industry had dropped for five straight years,” the governor said. “Just as in other sectors of our economy, we’re getting this one turned around and heading in the right direction. This is just the beginning of what we can accomplish as a state if we invest wisely, work hard, and keep our eye on the ball.”
Statewide hotel occupancy rates are reported by STR, a global hotel research company. STR collects monthly data from more than 58,000 hotels around the world, representing more than 7.9 million rooms in 600 different markets.