Hotel occupancy in Wood County up for first half of 2018

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) The Wood County Commission gets an optimistic report on area tourism.

Visitors and Convention Bureau President Mark Lewis told commissioners hotel and motel occupancy for the first six months of 2018 is up by 30,000 visitors from the same period in 2017.

A pickup in oil and gas drilling activity, and increased tourism, are reasons for the upturn.

It's an occupancy tax revenue increase of more than $41,000, money the bureau plans to promote the Mid-Ohio Valley even further.

"The increased revenue to the CVB means we will be able to expand our marketing efforts significantly in 2019," Lewis said. "Our focus, as always, is on leisure tourism and the leisure traveler. And we're working to build a base that will remain after the natural gas base starts to go back again."

Lewis says the bureau has already run advertising in several cities outside the area, including Columbus and Pittsburgh.

The commission Thursday also authorized bids for the removal of several trees at Veterans Park.