State convention and visitors bureaus in 15 areas received accreditation renewals from the West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus during the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism in Shepherdstown.
Accreditation is designed to encourage all of the state's CVBs to better prepare and equip themselves to further the development and promotion of tourism in their area and the state of West Virginia. Funded primarily by hotel/motel tax dollars from their areas, CVBs use those monies for the promotion of lodging, attractions, events, tourism-related businesses and activities and the soliciting of conventions and meetings.
"The West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus believe that CVBs have a responsibility to be good stewards of those funds and to work effectively towards growth in the tourism industry of this state," said Kara Dense, executive director of the Greenbrier County CVB and president of the WVACVB.
"Likewise, countless businesses rely on their local CVB to be a good and effective partner in the promotion and marketing of their area in a manner that will benefit the community specifically and businesses in general," she added.
Organizations receiving renewals on their accreditation are Charleston CVB, Greater Morgantown CVB, Greenbrier County CVB, Jefferson County CVB, Lewis County CVB, Marion County CVB, Martinsburg-Berkeley County CVB, Mercer County CVB, Mountain Lakes CVB (Weston), New River Gorge CVB (Oak Hill), Parkersburg CVB, Top of WV CVB (Weirton), Upshur County CVB, Visit Southern West Virginia (Beckley) and Wheeling CVB.
Under existing state law, CVBs are not required to be accredited.
"However, accredited CVBs can better establish themselves as credible, effective partners with their public and private funding sources and the tourism industry as a whole," she said.
Dense said the WVACVB is an effective advocate on behalf of the tourism industry and that as a group the organizations must be proactive in addressing those questions.
"Accredited CVBs can better establish themselves as credible, effective partners with their public and private funding sources and the tourism industry as a whole," she said.