Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

As a way to help businesses better promote themselves and the products they offer, the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering bi-monthly Tourism Talks – a small group discussion with varying topics to help businesses attract more tourists.

“We build short sessions that are offered to our tourism partners and help them market better and enhance their product and their tourism promotions,” CVB executive director Cara Rose said. “It’s a way for us to improve our overall destination, as well.”

The Tourism Talks began in September and are held in both Green Bank and Marlinton, usually on Tuesdays. The sessions are free to anyone who wants to attend to learn more about marketing and how their businesses can thrive as a tourist destination.

“Our sessions have been pretty varied,” Rose said. “This session in January will be on event marketing and leisure packaging. We have an outline. We’ve been doing them every other month, but there could be some adjustment in that. We’ve got several things that we want to present so we might do back-to- back months down the road – just see how much interest we have.”

Rose said she and the CVB staff have been working on topics for the next few Tourism Talks and have packets ready for attendees. If people are interested in the talks but are unable to attend, the packets are available at the CVB office in Marlinton.

“All they have to do is call the office or stop in and we will review the material with them,” she said. “It’s better for us to actually talk with them, but we have a PowerPoint that we can certainly share, as well.”

The talks are advertised in The Pocahontas Times, on Allegheny Mountain Radio and the CVB sends out emails to businessowners.

Some of the session subjects may seem simple, but being able to bounce ideas off one another is a great tool for marketing and coming up with new promotions, Rose said. As an example, she said the county needs to focus on becoming more mountain bike friendly, with the possibility of the IMBA [International Mountain Biking Association] Ride Center status and other upcoming event, mountain bikers will soon be flocking to the area.

“With Snowshoe now having the contract for the Mountain Bike World Cup – and that’s in September of 2019 and again in 2020 – our area needs to be mountain bike ready because people from around the world will be here. It’s an opportunity for us to really highlight our mountain bike product and our destination to the world. It’s a big deal.”

The next Tourism Talks session will be Tuesday, January 8, at 10 a.m. at the Green Bank Science Center and 2 p.m. at the Pocahontas County Community Wellness Center in Marlinton.

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