CHAPTER 5B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1985.

§5B-2I-7. Tourism Commission; members, appointment and expenses.

(a) There is continued within the Department of Commerce an independent Tourism Commission, which is a body corporate and politic, constituting a public corporation and government instrumentality.

(b) The Tourism Commission consists of the following fifteen members:

(1) The Secretary of Commerce, or his or her designee, ex officio;

(2)  The Secretary of Transportation or his or her designee, ex officio;

(3) Twelve members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, representing participants in the state’s tourism industry. Ten of the members shall be from the private sector, one shall be a director employed by a convention and visitors bureau and one shall be a member of a convention and visitors bureau. In making the appointments, the Governor may select from a list provided by the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association of qualified applicants. Of the twelve members so appointed, no less than three shall be from each congressional district within the state and shall be appointed to provide the broadest geographic distribution which is feasible;

(4) One member to be appointed by the Governor to represent public sector nonstate participants in the tourism industry within the state.

(c) Each member appointed by the Governor serves a staggered term of four years. Any member whose term has expired serves until his or her successor has been appointed. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy serves only for the unexpired term. Any member is eligible for reappointment. In case of a vacancy in the office of a member, the vacancy shall be filled by the Governor in the same manner as the original appointment.

(d) The chair of the Tourism Commission shall be appointed by the Governor from members then serving on the commission, and serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor.

(e) The Tourism Commission shall:

(1) Assist the Executive Director of the West Virginia Tourism Office in the development and implementation of the state’s comprehensive tourism advertising, marketing, promotion and development strategy; and

(2) Take all actions necessary to settle, finalize and conclude all outstanding advertising grants or other financial obligations of the Tourism Commission respecting funds in the Tourism Promotion Fund previously approved, expended or obligated by the Tourism Commission as of the effective date of this article.

(f) Members of the Tourism Commission are not entitled to compensation for services performed as members.  Each member from the private sector is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.  All expenses incurred by members from the private sector shall be paid in a manner consistent with guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration and are payable solely from the funds of the West Virginia Tourism Office or from funds appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.  Liability or obligation is not incurred by the West Virginia Tourism Office beyond the extent to which moneys are available from funds of the authority or from the appropriations.

(g) Members shall meet quarterly as designated by the chair.

§5B-2I-7. Tourism Commission; members, appointment and expenses.