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

(a) There is continued within the Department of Tourism an independent Tourism Advisory Council.

(b) The Tourism Advisory Council consists of the following 16 members:

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

(2) The Secretary of the Department of Economic Development or his or her designee, ex officio;

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

(4) 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 12 members so appointed, no fewer than five shall be from each congressional district within the state and shall be appointed to provide the broadest geographic distribution that is feasible;

 (5) 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 Advisory Council 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 Advisory Council shall:

(1) Advise the secretary of the Department of Tourism in the development and implementation of the state's comprehensive tourism advertising, marketing, promotion, and development strategy; and

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

(f) Members of the Tourism Advisory Council 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 Department of Tourism or from funds appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature. Liability or obligation is not incurred by the Department of Tourism 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 Advisory Council; members, appointment, and expenses.