SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 61
(By Senators Maynard, Stollings, Boso and Beach)
[Introduced April 5, 2017]
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the economic and health impacts of biking, hiking and other forms of activity tourism to increase the health and welfare of the citizens of West Virginia as well as tourism opportunities.
Whereas, Activity tourism is an area that has been growing strongly over the last 20 years; and
Whereas, Activity tourism covers a wide range of exciting, physical activities involving biking, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, horseback riding and mountaineering, to the less physical, yet still activity-focused areas of nature watching, agritourism or local culture and heritage trails; and
Whereas, Government initiatives to promote healthier lifestyles have led to greater demand on existing facilities and on the creativity of its communities to develop activities that interest individuals and encourage involvement from residents and tourists alike; and
Whereas, West Virginia’s economic development opportunities for activity tourism are endless and include walking and biking trails, rails-to-trails, triathlons, marathons, bike races, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, kayaking, rafting, zip lining, historical reenactments, the Appalachian and Great Eastern Trails, all of which result in beneficial economic activity in the state; and
Whereas, West Virginia’s leaders, in partnership with both the public and private sectors, are implementing programs and strategies to increase exciting, physical activity to address the health crisis in the state by increasing the number of safe and accessible hiking and walking paths and trails and other events and races in West Virginia’s communities to encourage residents to attend community events and exercise to combat the health crises, such as obesity, depression and drug use, that jeopardizes West Virginia’s future; and
Whereas, The economic impacts and overwhelming potential for activity tourism in the state warrant study to the current resources in the state for activity tourism such as the trails, races and current events, and to determine how to develop more opportunities and promotion for activity tourism; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby directed to study the economic and health impacts of biking, hiking and other forms of activity tourism to increase the health and welfare of the citizens of West Virginia as well as tourism opportunities; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, in 2018, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with any drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That input shall be sought from appropriate state and local agencies and organizations, including the Division of Tourism, the Division of Natural Resources, The Bureau for Public Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, local and regional planning and public health agencies, as well as local and statewide health, hiking, bicycle, tourism and related groups and organizations involved in these issues; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct a study, to prepare a report, and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.