ELKINS — Marketing a beautiful area like Randolph County is usually a pretty easy task. The arts, historical significance, cultural diversity, mountain vistas, shopping, dining and tourist venues make this county a place people are drawn to and feel welcome.
With the pandemic changing the course of how people research destinations, and how comfortable they are with any type of travel, the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism Convention and Visitors’ Bureau has had to make a conscious effort to market creatively.
These new techniques are designed to keep Randolph County on future visitors’ radar so when they feel comfortable venturing out, this area will be the destination they consider visiting.
Even before COVID-19 altered the tourism industry, the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB had begun working on the writing, designing and production of a new, comprehensive Elkins-Randolph County, WV Travel Guide. The delivery to the Elkins Depot Welcome Center CVB of the now completed brochure could not have occurred at a more appropriate time, officials said.
Anne Beardslee, executive director, indicated that “We knew what image of Randolph County we wanted to present before we wrote the first word or picked the first picture. It was important to us to introduce how diverse Randolph County is and that there is something here for everyone. With the design help of LMC and Associates, you will see that we achieved our marketing goal.”
Marketing director Taira Landavere explained, “It’s been really interesting to see the increase of online users on our website as well as our social media outlets. The requests for brochures and information has increased substantially over the last several months. The travel guide is available both in print at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center as well as hosted on our website for people to download at www.elkinsrandolphwv.com.”
Tourism plays a major role in the economic health of the county. The 2018 statistics indicate that $54.5 million of direct spending in Randolph County came from tourists and this income created 760 jobs. A total of $635,000 in city taxes were paid by these visitors.
“This year we will of course not see anything close to those 2018 figures. Our goal is to entice visitors in the future, when it is safe to travel and to help revitalize the economy of Randolph County,” Beardslee explained.