West Virginia Department of Commerce Tourism Development

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Tourism Development



Tourism Development

West Virginia’s rich history, exhilarating whitewater, winter sports, abundant natural beauty and small town charm attract visitors from all over the world.

Oglebay Resort and Conference CenterIn 2007, 54.6 million visitors came to the Mountain State, including 14.7 million overnight leisure travelers.In 2006, tourism created 44,000 jobs and generated $3.97 billion in spending.

The West Virginia Tourism Development Act provides an attractive incentive that has been very effective in stimulating the creation of new destinations and the expansion of existing ones.

Project applications meeting all criteria and receiving approval can recover up to 25 percent of the approved development costs over a 10-year period through consumer sales and service tax credits at a rate of one tenth of the amount per taxable year. Applications for projects located within the permit area or an adjacent area of a surface mining operation can recover up to 35 percent.

In order for a tourism development project application to be processed and evaluated, the project will:
  • Attract at least 25 percent of its annual visitors from outside the state
  • Have approved costs in excess of $1 million
  • Have significant and positive economic impact on the state considering, among other factors, the extent to which the project will compete directly with or complement existing tourism attractions, and the amount by which increased tax revenues will exceed the credit given
  • Produce sufficient revenues and public demand to be operating and open to the public for a minimum of 100 days per year
  • Provide additional employment opportunities in the state
“Tax credits from the West Virginia Tourism Development Act effectively improved our return on investment. The tax credits encouraged us to increase the amount we would spend on improvements. Clearly, West Virginia’s programs encourage new development.”

Elmer Coppoolse CEO, EMCO Hospitality, Inc.