(a) There is hereby continued within the Department of Commerce the Division of Tourism and an independent Tourism Commission, which is a body corporate and politic, constituting a public corporation and government instrumentality.
(b) Prior to July 1, 2011, the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint to the Tourism Commission three members from the private sector to represent participants in the state's tourism industry, one for a term of four years, one for a term of three years and one for a term of two years.
(c) Commencing July 1, 2011, the Tourism Commission shall consist of the following fifteen members with staggered terms:
(1) Twelve members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, representing participants in the state's tourism industry. Ten of the members shall be from the private sector, one shall be a director employed by a convention and visitors bureau and one shall be a member of a convention and visitors bureau. In making the appointments the Governor may select from a list provided by the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association of qualified applicants. Of the twelve members so appointed, no less than three shall be from each congressional district within the state and shall be appointed to provide the broadest geographic distribution which is feasible;
(2) One member to be appointed by the Governor to represent public sector nonstate participants in the tourism industry within the state;
(3) The Secretary of Transportation or his or her designee, ex officio; and
(4) The Director of the Division of Natural Resources or his or her designee, ex officio.
(d) Each member appointed by the Governor shall serve staggered terms of four years. Any member whose term has expired shall serve until his or her successor has been appointed. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired term. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment. In cases of vacancy in the office of member, such vacancy shall be filled by the Governor in the same manner as the original appointment.
(e) Members of the commission shall not be entitled to compensation for services performed as members. A majority of these members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business. The Governor shall appoint a chair of the commission for a term to run concurrent with the term of the office of the member appointed to be the chair. The chair is eligible for successive terms in that position.