In a region with the nation’s highest unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to find a way to get their tourists to see their state.
In the summer months, the West Virginia Tourism Authority is working to find ways to get the word out to potential visitors, including a public service campaign aimed at keeping the spotlight on the region.
It’s not just tourists that are frustrated with the region’s lack of tourism, however.
In addition to the unemployment rate in West Va., the area is plagued by severe drought and floods, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
That’s what spurred the WVTA to launch a public education campaign in late September, called “Stay Fresh, Stay Strong.”
In it, volunteers will offer tips to help make your trip more enjoyable and safe, including using common sense and being mindful of your surroundings.
The goal is to educate people about the need to plan ahead for disasters, and also provide some information about how to avoid them.
While the WVTTA says its effort is targeted at the “big four” West Virginia tourist destinations — Charleston, Louisville, Nashville and Cincinnati — many other West Virginia towns and cities are also involved in the effort.
Some West Virginia residents have already begun sharing their experiences on social media with the hashtag #WVTTAWAVI.
In response, the WVCTA is launching a “Get Ready for WV Tourism” campaign, encouraging people to share their travel plans on social channels.
It encourages people to sign up for the WAVI’s travel guide, which includes travel tips for each destination.
The guide also includes local resources and information about the area, such as weather, food and transportation.
While many are not convinced by the advice, one person who did share her travel plans shared them with ABC News, and it has garnered thousands of shares on social networks.
“We’ve gotten a lot of responses that are not as positive as some people might think, but they do have some tips that can help,” said Nicole Rieder, the regional director for WAV IOTA, the tourism agency’s affiliate in the state.
“They’ve gotten tips about the weather, the roads, things like that, and they’re getting tips about how you can minimize the impacts of disasters, what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, what things you can eat, where you can go and what things are safe to do, where not to go, what’s safe to wear, how to do things safely, and where you’re going.”
Riedr said that even though the WVATA has been offering the guide for some time, the public outreach is now being rolled out to all the tourist destinations in the area.
The WVTI has been working with the tourism authority to make sure all the public resources are working as well as possible, including the WavIOTA guide.
Rieda said the WVEA also plans to host a press conference to give more information about what’s happening at each tourist destination.
WVTA director of community engagement, Karen Jablonski, said the group is working on ways to make people aware of the dire state of the West Virginian economy, and that they’re working to help educate the public.
She said she’s been working on the public education effort to educate tourists about the situation and also give people a sense of what the local government can do.
“We know that the local governments are in the position that we’re in that they need to take some responsibility for their economy, so we’re trying to do our part to inform the community about what we’re doing,” she said.
For many locals, it’s a difficult time to travel to the West. “
If there’s an emergency that’s affecting them, we want to be as prepared as possible to help.”
For many locals, it’s a difficult time to travel to the West.
It took the WVSTA more than six months to find the right person to fill the role, Rieders said.
She noted that the agency has also made efforts to ensure that WV tourism operators are trained to respond to emergencies.
While WV is not the only place in the country where tourists are having trouble staying in hotels, Rieser said that the WVDTA has made strides in educating the public about hotel policies, and is also providing tips on what to wear and where to stay when a disaster strikes.
There are two key things that will help ensure that you’re staying safe, she said, noting that some hotels are located in flood-prone areas.
She suggested wearing a waterproof jacket or pants, as well, especially if you plan to stay in a hotel.
“It’s not that people don’t have money; it’s that there are a lot more hotels that aren’t going to have enough room for people to stay,” Rieds said. She