The Elkins Depot Welcome Center, a hub for community and visitor information in Elkins, West Virginia, was presented a Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor for the 2016 year. As the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor is a popular online reference for travelers, allowing its users to give candid reviews, voice their opinions and to comment with photos on hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more from locations all around the world. Explorers, wanderers, and vacationers alike flock to the website when planning their next trip and look to these rankings when deciding on how to spend their vacation time and dollars.
Those chosen for TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence have ranked highly in their category among similar organizations. The Welcome Center’s friendly atmosphere and pleasant staff was a common theme among the reviews. One reviewer, Mary Lu A., from Madison, Wisconsin commented, “The staff was friendly and informative. Anne was the first person we met and she was most helpful in suggesting things to do in the area. The Welcome Center had various brochures that were informative.”
Staffed primarily by volunteers, the Welcome Center’s commitment to excellence in visitor services is easy to see by the professional manner and the knowledge shared with tourists. Becoming knowledgeable of the vast array of opportunities available in Elkins is key for the Center’s success. Elkins has many facets, and tourists’ interests range from hiking and fishing to sewing and shopping. In addition, the volunteers’ love for the Elkins community is at the forefront of their service and this carries over into their work.
Making itself available for the 40,000 plus tourists it serves in a year is another key factor in the Center’s success. Open seven days a week throughout the busiest seasons, the summer and fall brings visitors from all over the country and world. Leaf peepers especially, flock to the area and board the scenic train rides available that meander through the mountains.
President of the Board, Sue Sheets, is honored to receive the award from TripAdvisor and is proud of the work the Elkins Depot Welcome Center has accomplished in its 10 years of operation. She says, “I am honored to work with a group of volunteers who are very dedicated in promoting the Elkins community and surrounding areas in tourism. They are role models and amazing individuals who pride themselves in the knowledge of the local area, state and region and the opportunity to pass that information along to visitors. Our AmeriCorps members have done a great job in setting up our webpage and keeping our social media up-to-date in order to keep the traveling public informed of our great town and surrounding areas on tourism.”