WHEELING, West Virginia (WTRF) — Ohio Valley businesses interested in developing tourism in the Northern Pandhandle welcomed the Director of Destination Development from the West Virginia Department of Tourism.
Ennis Smith attended Friday’s meeting at West Virginia Northern Community College to hear from business representatives and gather feedback on the travel and hospitality industry here in the Ohio Valley.
Smith says the West Virginia Department of Tourism received a $5.1 million grant from the Department of Economics Administration to develop a tourist workforce under the American Rescue Plan Act.
Although the meeting was held at a college in Wheeling, the grant will be used to promote tourism throughout the mountain state.
Smith says that one of the things that resonated with her among Ohio Valley businesses was what she calls “Hospitality 101.”
People need these interpersonal skills in the travel industry and we hope this is something we can work with through the grant we have received to try and fund trainings for hospitality businesses in the area to try and develop for them and their staff. some of these soft skills, some of them are 101 hospitality and leadership and management skills.
Ennis Smith, West Virginia Department of Tourism
Smith also adds that there are many career opportunities for workers in the travel and hospitality industry.
She says the West Virginia Department of Tourism also runs monthly training sessions, and many of those sessions are about marketing and social media, two other components that are extremely important to the industry.
Businesses can go to wv.tourism.com and scroll down the page and then click on industry resources to connect to a partner portal for more information.