CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia was named a Top Travel Region to visit in 2022 by Lonely Planet, as a part of its annual Best in Travel awards, Gov. Justice announced on Thursday. West Virginia was the only U.S. state selected.

“West Virginia is on a roll. I’ve been saying since my first day in office that we have to tell our state’s story, and we’re doing just that and it’s working,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia is a world-class, four-season travel destination, and thanks to this announcement, travelers around the world will be adding the Mountain State to their travel bucket list for 2022. I’d like to thank the Lonely Planet team for this designation and all they do to promote and support travel and tourism.”

(West Virginia Department of Tourism image)

West Virginia joins a lineup of global destinations, including Westfjords, Iceland; Scenic Rim, Australia; Vancouver Island, Canada; and Burgundy, France, in the category for Best Travel Region 2022.

This year’s award recipients were selected from a Best in Travel survey shared across the Lonely Planet team. The Lonely Planet staff and more than 200 travel writers, bloggers and publishing partners shared their top travel destinations for the coming year. 

After the list was narrowed, it was sent to a panel of five travel experts to be judged based on several factors, such as readiness to accept return visitation in 2022 and the judges’ excitement to travel there.

Lonely Planet said, “2022 is the perfect time to discover West Virginia, a still-uncrowded region with unspoiled mountains and unmistakable heritage where the leisurely tempo of Southern small towns converges with the adrenaline sports that attract adventurers from across the continent.”

(West Virginia Department of Tourism image)

As a part of this designation, West Virginia will receive a featured write-up in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 book as well as online content. This announcement has the potential to reach hundreds of millions of travelers and share with them the best of Almost Heaven, West Virginia as they plan their trips next year.

“This is such an honor for West Virginia,” said Chelsea Ruby, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism. “Governor Justice has been a true visionary for our state’s tourism industry, and I appreciate all of the time he has poured into big, bold ideas to tell our state’s story. West Virginia is an incredible four-season travel destination, and we can’t wait to welcome new visitors as they plan their trips to the Best in Travel destinations for 2022.”

To access this year’s Best in Travel 2022, click here.