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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia named top global travel destination yet again

by Staff


“Putting together our annual BEST OF THE WORLD list with our global editorial team each year is one of my favorite projects!” said Sr. Editor of Travel at National Geographic Amy Alipio. “West Virginia in particular was a fun addition for us, as we tend to look for places that combine both interesting culture – like Appalachia – and natural wonder. Not many people know that New River in West Virginia is actually one of the world’s oldest rivers – or that it’s one of the best places in the world to go white water rafting! So we hope readers of Nat Geo’s Top 20 Travel Experiences will discover that as well,” National Geographic’s Senior Editor of Travel  Amy Alipio.

This designation follows a series of recent major announcements by Forbes Advisor, Thrillist, Condé Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine, Lonely Planet, TIME, USA Today and Frommer’s among others, that together rank West Virginia as a leading global destination for travel. 

“”In my very first meeting with Gov. Justice 7 years ago, he told me that we were going to show the world just how great West Virginia truly is, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Since then, our goal has been to highlight the unbelievable wonders of the Mountain State each and every day, and we are thrilled to see major publications continue to recognize how incredible West Virginia really is.”

The New River Gorge National River was redesigned as the nation’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, in December of 2020. The nation’s newest national park offers travelers more than 70,000 acres of undiscovered beauty and unmatched outdoor recreation, including whitewater rafting. Rafters from around the world have been flocking to West Virginia for years, but the new national park designation has brought even greater attention to the world-class recreation in the southern part of the state.  Whether travelers are looking for heart-pounding, high-adrenaline rafting or a family-friendly float, the New River Gorge National Park provides one of the world’s best experiences.

To learn more about National Geographic’s “Best of the World” Top 20 Travel Experiences for 2024 list, click here

For photos and b-roll footage of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, click here.

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