Associated Press Published

W.Va. Tourism Budget Doubling After Chemical Leak

Freedom Industries

West Virginia is expanding its tourism funding in hopes of offsetting negative publicity from the January chemical spill in the Elk River that spurred a water-use ban for days.

Officials on Thursday announced a $1.2 million cash infusion that will more than double the Division of Tourism’s spring advertising campaign budget.
The Charleston Gazette reports the additional funding will allow the ad campaign to expand to new markets and to run more frequently.
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said the state needs to be proactive in marketing itself and looking at its image.
A consumer survey showed there was a high level of awareness of the spill in West Virginia and surrounding states and some said it would make them less likely to vacation in the state.