National Tourism Week has given local officials an opportunity to showcase all the amazing things that should be attracting visitors to Parkersburg and Wood County.

Area residents often forget how fortunate we are to live in a region with such a vibrant past and present. But Mark Lewis, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Parkersburg, provided a reminder of the global reach of our assets.

“I recently talked with some folks visiting here from Australia, they were looking for history-heritage and planned to take the walking tour through the Julia-Ann Street Historic District,” Lewis said. “We have a lot to offer.”

Lewis also mentioned plans to work more closely with local fairs and festivals – a fantastic idea. Downtown PKB Executive Director Carrie Nesselrode can probably give him a few more events to promote.

Nesselrode said the spring and summer will bring anything from a showcase for local food and wine vendors and beermakers at Taste of Parkersburg to a concert series featuring tribute bands performing the works of artists such as James Taylor and Journey.

Our region is a destination with a lot to offer for travelers, but it has just as much to offer to local residents, too. Take advantage of all the great things to do, right here at home. You might even save a little money.

“We’re trying to keep things affordable and fun, that a family can do together,” Nesselrode said.

History that attracts visitors from all over the world; fun, entertaining and educational events for entire families – that will not break the bank; and food and drink to rival much larger metropolitan areas: What more could a traveler – no matter how short the distance – ask for?