Gov. Justice congratulates West Virginia Department of Tourism on national awards


Department earns top honors for vacation guide and social media campaign
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice today congratulated the West Virginia Department of Tourism for winning two national awards from the U.S. Travel Association.

The department was recognized with a pair of Mercury Awards – the top honors for state tourism agencies – for both its 2021 Vacation Guide and a social media community building campaign launched last year.
“I love it, I just absolutely love it when we see that West Virginia is competing – and winning – at the highest levels,” Gov. Justice said. “I truly believe that we are just getting started. Tourism continues to be an incredible source of growth for us and the potential is off-the-charts. There’s so much goodness ahead.”
West Virginia’s two wins came among just 16 categories overall nationwide.

“Can you imagine, West Virginia winning in two of the 16 categories across this nation?” Gov. Justice said. “It is flat-out amazing.”
The vacation guide took home the highest award for the category Printed Collateral Materials. With this year being the 50th anniversary of John Denver’s iconic song “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and with summer road trips being at the forefront of so many eager travelers' minds, the guide highlighted West Virginia’s wide open spaces and stunning natural wonders.
To order your own copy of the winning vacation guide or to follow the West Virginia Department of Tourism’s social media channels, click here.
The 2021 guide has already exceeded the West Virginia Department of Tourism’s print and digital goals. Less than three months into a 12-month distribution, all 250,000 copies have been sent to prospective travelers, and a second printing is in progress.

In their evaluation of the guide, one of the judges noted, “Definitely one of the best travel guides I have seen. I thought this publication was excellent and was exactly what the group described – a keepsake-quality product that would instantly elevate the consumer’s perception of West Virginia. During a year when road trips were on the rise, this theme and focus on outdoor activities was executed flawlessly. Innovative and well crafted editorial content stood out amongst peers.”
The West Virginia Department of Tourism was also honored with the top award for the Community Building category. Last spring, the department launched the #PlaceIBelongWV social campaign to highlight tourism at the height of the pandemic. The goals for the campaign were to support partners and small businesses across the state, while inspiring social media users around the globe. Each week, the department created social themes inviting users to post their own content relating to the theme. The results were astounding, with a remarkable level of participation by tourism businesses across the state.

“It’s a huge honor to see our state being recognized nationally. I can’t thank Governor Justice enough for his continued support and push to make West Virginia tourism the very best it can be,” said Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “I also want to thank our amazing team who devote themselves daily to promoting this beautiful state we call home.”
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map