CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sunday was the first day nearly 600 tourism professionals participated in the Travel South Showcase at the Charleston Civic Center.
The showcase brings tour operators and charters from across the nation together in one place to find new fun and exciting destinations.
Businesses from throughout the 11 state region meet each tour operator in hopes that it will become a stop for their next tour. This year, for the first time in 49 years, it's in West Virginia.
In light of this years chemical spill crisis, only one tourism group cancelled their reservation.
Officials say the spill has put a negative stigma on the state and the showcase is happening at the perfect time.
"It's a step in that direction toward recovery we're going to have to do that we're going to have to go through this process and this is a start," said Jama Jarrett with the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau
The showcase began at Sunday night's opening night reception.