Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau starts campaign

PARKERSBURG — The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau this month will begin a new campaign to bring people to town for several days.

The West Virginia Weekends campaign was prepared by the Stonewall Group of Marietta, the bureau’s agency of record, and is designed to attract Ohio and West Virginia residents looking for weekend getaways that are close to home.

“We want Greater Parkersburg to be the ‘top of mind’ weekend destination for Ohio and West Virginia residents planning a getaway,” Mark Lewis, executive director of the visitors bureau, said. “Recent travel research indicates travelers are most interested in experience oriented vacations filled with activities and adventures. Greater Parkersburg truly offers a unique experience and is conveniently located just a few hours from Columbus, Cleveland, Morgantown, Charleston, Lewisburg, etc.”

The launch of the campaign coincides with the region’s busiest travel months of May through October. The tourist bureau also is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week this week. More information about the week, established in 1983, is available at ustravel.org.

Advertisements will be placed in print and digital publications in Ohio and West Virginia markets. A special website landing page will be created for people to click on for additional information when planning a visit to the area.

The campaign will feature mayor events through the year, such as next month’s Taste of Parkersburg and later events including Homecoming and the Downtown Throwdown, Lewis said. An emphasis of the campaign will be to highlight events occurring around the same time so people could spend a couple days in the area or attend an event and follow it with a visit to the attractions in the region, he said.

For example, the News and Sentinel Half Marathon in August coincides with the Parkersburg Homecoming and the Downtown Throwdown, a barbecue competition, coincides with Paddlefest on the Ohio River.

“The focus is putting that bug in people’s ears,” he said. “We’re a great weekend trip.”

Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 1,250 people in Wood County, Lewis said.

As a leading job creator and sustainer, tourism must be supported by our legislators and community leaders to thrive, he said. Besides economic benefits, travel also has a positive effect on personal well-being, Lewis said.

“Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression,” Lewis said. “Using time off to travel with our families is good for everyone, especially our children — kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.”

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