Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Jinyang Deng.


Tourism has been playing an increasingly important role in the economic development and promotion for the state of West Virginia. However, how tourism resources are spatially distributed across all the states' 55 counties and have not received much attention. This study could be among the first of its kind in West Virginia to create an inventory database for 21 types of major outdoor recreation/nature-based tourism resources, and spatially examine their distribution across counties. The quantity of tourism resources is determined by measuring their actual size, length, or number, and the quality of the resources is determined by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with consultation provided by West Virginia CVB directors. A four-level amenity index is created using the standard deviation method. In addition, the relationship between travel/tourism related economic benefits and amenity index values is also examined, though in a very simple manner. The results indicate that nature-based tourism resources are largely concentrated in the eastern state centering on the Pocahontas County. While it is found that nature-based tourism resources are positively related to economic benefits generated from travel and tourism, such a relationship is not significant when those gambling counties are considered. Research limitations and future research needs are discussed.