The Randolph County Convention and Visitors Bureau received accreditation from the West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
Brenda Pritt, executive director of the Randolph County CVB, accepted the accreditation award during the recent Governor's Conference on Tourism in Morgantown.
The accreditation is good for three years and certifies the professionalism of the nonprofit organization and its marketing efforts. It's the second consecutive time the Randolph CVB received accreditation.
ACCREDITATION?AWARD — Brenda Pritt, second from left, accepts the Accreditation Award from Sharon Rowe of the West Virginia Tourism Commission. With them at the ceremony are James Spears, chief of staff for Gov. Joe Manchin, and Betty Carver, commissioner of the Division of Tourism.
"We're very pleased that the association recognized our hard work and approves of our plans for the future," Pritt said. "Accreditation is a rigorous process that not all CVBs choose to undergo. We look forward to spending the next three years - and more - successfully promoting Elkins, Randolph County, and the entire Potomac Highlands region."
Although voluntary, the Association of CVBs encourages its members to go through the process.
"It is designed to encourage all of the state's CVBs to better prepare and equip themselves to further the development and promotion of tourism in their area and the state of West Virginia," according to the association's website. "The state and its political subdivisions entrust valuable taxpayer dollars to CVBs each year for the promotion of attractions, events, tourism-related businesses and activities and the soliciting of conventions and meetings.
"The West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus believe that CVBs have a responsibility to be good stewards of those funds and to work effectively towards growth in the tourism industry of this state," the site states.
The accreditation application compiles a large amount of data about the CVB's efforts in the past several years, including copies of audited financial statements and lists of advertising efforts. It also requires a look forward, with projected marketing plans for the coming years.
Among the accomplishments cited in the application were the creation of a new website, www.elkinswv.com, plus a new visitors guide and participation in special publications targeted toward motorcycle tours and bus operators.
The visitors center received more than 13,000 phone calls last year and distributed nearly 800 information packets and more than 26,000 brochures on local attractions.
"We understand that especially in a difficult economy, people are going to be careful where they spend their travel dollars," Pritt said. "We will continue to spread the word that Randolph County has much to offer travelers of all ages."