Tourists Start Planning Trips on National Plan Your Vacation Day

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) –  Each year about 705 million vacation days are left unused according to “State of the American Vacation,” an annual survey that tracks vacation habits.

Still, this time of year is booming for the tourism industry, and West Virginia is no different

“We see a great influx of people traveling planning their traveling this time of year,” said AAA travel agent Melissa Norris.

The early months of the year are perfect for booking summer vacations in most cases. In many cases, tourists may miss out on the perfect hotel room or tour if they wait too long to book.

“I recommend 6 to 8 months–sometimes a year–out. You can always book cruises almost two years out,” said Norris. “Anytime you can book [to] travel or tour at least a year out, that’s all the better for you.”

Southern West Virginia isn’t just where tourists live during the off season. It’s where other tourists want  to go.

“White water rafting is the big one,” said Jay Young at Adventures by the Gorge. “You know, this is America’s best white water, right here in southern West Virginia with two rivers.”

As a result, the West Virginian tourism economy thrives in the warmer months.

“We employ a lot of people especially in the summertime,” said Young. “You know, [tourism is] probably a pretty big part of this town’s economy, especially as far as the restaurants in town go.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at