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2023 Sustainable Tourism Webinars

January 30, 2023

What is the future of sustainable tourism and destination management in West Virginia? (Interactive webinar with breakout rooms)

Interactive conversation about the future of destination management in West Virginia.

Breakout rooms included interactive discussions to help us understand your needs and how we can all move forward:

February 27, 2023

Andrew Grossman – Director of Destination Development for the Colorado Tourism Office

Andrew will join us and talk about rural destination development in Colorado and the Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism with some practical examples of rural destinations developing and implementing a destination management strategy.

March 27, 2023

Scott Bricker – Travel Oregon Destination Development and Oregon Rural Tourism Studio

Scott will join us and talk about destination development engagements, experience development and stewardship, destination investments, Oregon’s community of practice work, and other aspects related to how development and stewardship lead to other outcomes for tourism and local livability.

Outdoor Economy & Community Development Series (April, May, June)

Led by Andy Williamson - Director of Outdoor Community Development for the Brad & Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative and WVU Extension Specialist

April 24, 2023

Topic: Outdoor Economy Foundations and Trends

Guest Speaker Rebecca Gillis - State & Local Government Affairs Manager, Outdoor Industry Association will kick off this mini series with an overview of current trends of outdoor economic development, resources available to local communities, case study examples of how communities are working to grow their local outdoor economy and how the Smith OEDC, in collaboration partners, are working to support efforts on the ground across West Virginia.

May 22, 2023

Topic: Infrastructure - Core Component of an Outdoor Economy

Guest Speaker Richard Edwards - Outdoor Infrastructure Coordinator, WVU Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative. You can’t have an outdoor economy without outdoor recreation infrastructure. This session will focus on best practices on how to leverage investments in quality, connected, progression based outdoor infrastructure and share some examples from other communities making similar investments.

June 26, 2023

Topic: Activating Your Investment

Guest Speaker Brent Anslinger - Outdoor Recreation Program Manager at Five Rivers MetroParks in Southwest Ohio. Brent will be joining us to share their strategic approach to activating their outdoor assets to bring positive change and build outdoor culture in their community. If you build it, will they come? That is the question. The answer is, No, they won’t come if you don’t activate it. Or at least not as many as you had hoped. This session will dive into different tactics to ensure people, both residents and visitors, know of, have the skills, and the tools to take full advantage of your outdoor infrastructure investment and the role of activation in building a vibrant outdoor culture in your community.

July 31, 2023

What is the Future of Sustainable Tourism and Destination Management? (Interactive webinar with breakouts)

We will come back together as a group to discuss where we want the future of Sustainable Tourism and Destination Management to go. Interactive conversation about the future of destination management in West Virginia.

August 28, 2023

Agritourism Best Practices

with case studies from West Virginia and Vermont

September 25, 2023

Effectively Branding and Promoting the Destination - Strategies and Best Practices

Presenters: Don Anderson and DMO Practitioner Brady Dawson

October 30, 2023

Cultural Heritage Tourism Trends and Opportunities for West Virginia

Presenter: Cheryl Hargrove, Hargrove International

November 27, 2023

Sustainable Tourism in the New River Gorge Region of WV

Presenter: Andy Davis New River Gorge Regional Development Authority

December 18, 2023

Discussion of lessons learned and next steps​