Weekly e-newsletter for VisitNC partners
August 30, 2017
*  SportsNC promotes N.C. at 
Connect Sports Marketplace
*  Partners engage with media, PR staff 
at Charlotte event
*  TMS spotlights Cabarrus County, 
N.C. destinations

** Due to technical difficulties, NewsLink was prematurely sent earlier today.  Please accept this as the correct edition.  Our apologies for the inconvenience. **
SportsNC promotes N.C. at Connect Sports Marketplace

Visit NC's Amanda Baker and the SportsNC team met events rights holders at the annual Connect Sports Marketplace, held in New Orleans, La., last week. The annual tradeshow brought together rights holders and sports planners from across the U.S. North Carolina's facilities and sports organizations were showcased through prescheduled appointments and networking functions.

Participating SportsNC partners included Cabarrus County CVB, Durham Sports Commission, Fayetteville Area CVB, Gaston County T&T, Goldsboro Parks & Rec, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, Greensboro Area CVB, Greenville-Pitt County CVB, Mecklenburg County Parks & Rec, Mooresville CVB, Nash County T&T, NC Amateur Sports, Outer Banks VB, Raleigh Convention Center, Visit Charlotte, Visit Lake Norman, Visit Winston-Salem, and Wilmington and Beaches CVB.

For more information on VisitNC's sports events program, contact
Amanda Baker at (984) 364-7474.
Partners engage with media, PR staff at Charlotte event

The Visit North Carolina PR team and 40 partners from across the state shared their story with two dozen media representatives from print, broadcast and online outlets at the annual in-state media reception, held earlier this month at the Urban Garden adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. The gathering also gave partners an opportunity to meet the public relations specialists at Luquire George Andrews who work with Visit NC's PR staff on national and in-state media outreach.
For the first time, the media reception was preceded by a lunchtime session in which partners networked, heard updates about Visit NC's PR plans, and participated in roundtable discussions about digital influencers, media markets and other matters. The influencer discussion centered on a "best practices" document for evaluating inquiries from the growing number of digital tastemakers. The document can be found here.
For more information about Visit NC's public relations programs, contact Eleanor Talley at (919) 447-7783.
(lf-rt) Visit NC's Hayes Norris, Johnston County VB's Ashby Brame, Durham CVB's Heather Darnell and Margaret Pentrack at one event at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Travel Media Showcase spotlights Cabarrus County, NC destinations

Travel Media Showcase, a national conference for media representatives and travel industry professionals, was held last week in Concord with Visit Cabarrus as host. Participants included Visit NC, 14 in-state DMOs and several local partners as well as national and international tourism reps, hotel brands, airlines, cruise lines and attractions.
During the three-day conference, industry professions met one on one with editors, writers, broadcast journalists and digital influencers. Receptions, meals and visits to racing locations, music sites, breweries, restaurants and other attractions provided opportunities for informal networking.
Sponsors included Visit NC and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority as well as Visit Cabarrus. The Rutherford County TDA, Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville Area CVB, Visit Lake Norman, Heart of NC VB, Johnston County VB, and Wilmington and Beaches CVB showcased their destinations during pre- and post-conference fams. Other participating DMOs included the Rockingham County TDA, Durham CVB, Greensboro Area CVB, Henderson County TDA and Visit Lexington.
TRAC coming to Washington/Beaufort County region Sept. 21

On Sept. 21tourism-related businesses in Washington and the Beaufort County regional area – including the surrounding counties – will have an opportunity to work with Visit North Carolina staff to learn about its research, development and marketing services, and discuss best practices in reaching travelers, the media and increasing tourism visitation and spending. Visit NC's Tourism Resource Assistance Center (TRAC) is a community-based training program designed to help small tourism-related businesses. The TRAC event will be held 10 am - 2 pm at the Washington Civic Center at 110 N. Gladden St. in Washington.
There is no charge to attend, no reservation is required, and there are no PowerPoint presentations. This is a come-when-you-can/stay-as-long-as-you'd-like event opportunity for all tourism-related businesses to meet one-on-one with program managers to discuss better ways to promote their property or event. TRAC brings Visit NC's program managers to local communities to discuss the nuts and bolts of working with the organization. This invaluable program is designed to help tourism-related businesses engage more fully with programs offered by Visit NC and its partners.
Representatives from the EDPNC's BLNC, N.C. Dept. of Commerce, N.C. Dept. of Natural & Cultural Resources and NC GreenTravel will also be on hand to discuss services they can provide businesses, including strategic planning, assisting with identifying funding sources and serving as liaisons with other local, state and federal agencies. For additional information on this session or to learn more about scheduling a TRAC visit to your community, contact Andre Nabors at (919) 447-7771.

Montford Point Marines honored on 75th anniversary

Last Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of the Montford Point Marines, the first black Marines in the nation who served during a time of segregation and racism. The anniversary was observed with a tribute to the more than 20,000 African-American Marines who entered service in 1942 and trained aboard Camp Lejeune on land called Montford Point. The ceremony was held at the Montford Point Marine Memorial, part of the Lejeune Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville. The first phase of the memorial was completed last year. The $1.1 million memorial features a restored M1-A1 anti-aircraft gun and a 15-foot bronze statue of a Montford Point Marine climbing uphill to equality. The second phase which includes adding benches, lighting and commemorative bricks will be completed at the end of this year.
The Montford Point Marines and their training are unique to North Carolina's story.  Visit NC offers more on them at Project 543, which features attractions, destinations, stories and other unique aspects of North Carolina; read more about the Montford Point Marines' spotlight here.
Vote for N.C. sites for best fall-related experiences

North Carolina has two sites among the nominations for two 10Best's Readers' Choice Awards: Best Apple Orchard and Best Theme Park Halloween Event. Online voting by readers is now open via USAToday.com's website. Click on the hyperlink to vote. Voting ends at noon on Sept. 25.
Best Apple Orchard:  Sky Top Orchard, Flat Rock
Best Theme Park Halloween Event:  SCarowinds, Carowinds, Charlotte
Ideal-Living recognizes towns, communities among its 'Best of the Best'

For its "Best of the Best 2017," Ideal-Living recognized Calabash, Beaufort and New Bern among its "Best Small Towns."  Chapel Hill and Boone were included among the "Best College Towns."  In addition, specific community developments were recognized in a variety of categories.
Asheville Glamping, Buxton Hall fried chicken sandwich in the spotlight

USA Today included Asheville Glamping in Asheville in its "Glamping: 10 spots to camp luxuriously in the USA." Of Asheville Glamping, the article noted, "Tucked into the North Carolina's mountains, Asheville Glamping offers glamping sites ranging from tents to a dome to a yurt to retro campers. A terrific place to rest up after having your fair share of fun in 'Beer City.'"  The article also included a photo gallery, which had three photos for Asheville Glamping.
In a separate piece, USA Today included the fried chicken sandwich at Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville in its photo gallery-type article for "50 states: 50 standout sandwiches." Of the sandwich's selection, the caption explained, "Is it wrong to choose a fried chicken sandwich from a barbecue joint? Not when it's the fried chicken sandwich at Buxton Hall in Asheville, N.C. The chicken (all natural, free-range, sustainably raised chicken from Joyce Farms in Winston-Salem, N.C.) in the Original Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich is smoked along with the restaurant's whole hog so you get the smoky barbecue flavor. Then it's dipped in buttermilk and deep-fried, topped with American cheese, pimento cheese, white barbecue sauce, and bread-and-butter pickles, and served on a toasted bun."
September issue highlights '50 moments that made NC'

The September edition of Our State looks at "'50 moments that made NC," past places and events that still inspire. "Hotels & Inns" profiles River House Inn in Grassy Creek; "Restaurant" features Alfredo's Ristorante Italiano in Clinton; and "Bakery" spotlights Sandra's Bakery in Sanford. The September issue is on sale now.
Kota named new executive director for Foothills Conservancy

Andrew Kota has been named the new executive director for the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, upon the retirement of founding Executive Director Susie Hamrick Jones.  As of Sept. 1, Kota may be contacted at (828) 437-9930 or via akota@foothillsconservancy.org.
Resources to help grow a green business

Establishing a viable environmental sustainability program is not only good for a business' bottom line, but it also gives the business a leg up on its competitors. So, where does one begin with a greening program? There are quite a few resources on the Internet, showing ways to go green. The online publication Green Lodging News is an excellent resource for information. It features news items about green lodging destinations, products and information about how to go green. Similarly, The Green Hotels Association, tells all about ways to make a lodging business greener and features products that can help a business become more sustainable. The NC GreenTravel Initiative features a full page of sustainable travel website links, leading to some excellent planning and how-to advice for greening a business. There is also a page of sustainability video links showing ways one can build on a greening program. For information about going greener, contact NC GreenTravel Manager, Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140.
On North Carolina Weekend for the week of Aug. 31, explore "Apple Season" in Hendersonville. Learn about the Traveling Vietnam Wall Exhibit coming to Conover. Tempt your taste buds at Duck Donuts in Duck. Be fascinated at All-a-Flutter Butterfly Farm in High Point. And the "House Special" samples the fare at Milner's in Winston-Salem. (Please note: listings are subject to change.) North Carolina Weekend is underwritten by Visit North Carolina. In addition, UNC-TV has made recent editions of North Carolina Weekend available online.
In 2016, 29 percent of North Carolina visitors traveled to North Carolina's Mountain Region, approximately 14.2 million person-trips. Seventy-nine percent of visitors to the Mountain Region are overnight visitors. For more North Carolina visitor information, visit the Visitor Profile Studies or contact Tourism Research Director Marlise Taylor at (919) 447-7748.

Upcoming Industry Meetings & Events

Sept. 6 - NC Assn. of Festivals & Events Fall Seminar, Cary
Sept. 6 - NC Sports Assn. Meeting, Aberdeen
Sept. 13-14 - Blue Ridge Parkway Assn. Fall Meeting, Little Switzerland
Sept. 16-20 - VMA/NCMA/MCASC Regional Meeting and Marketplace, Roanoke, Va.
Sept. 17-18 - NCTIA Tourism Leadership Conference, Charlotte
Sept. 21 - Visit NC TRAC, Washington
Oct. 10-11 - STS Fall Forum, Biloxi, Miss.
Oct. 20-22 - AFCI Cineposium, Los Angeles, Calif.
Oct. 23-25 - TTRA's Marketing Outlook Forum, Baltimore, Md.
Oct. 26 - NC Coast Host Quarterly Meeting, Wilson
Oct. 27-29 - Agritourism World Summit, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Oct. 29-Nov. 3 - SATW Conference, Portland, Ore.
Oct. 30-Nov. 2 - TEAMS Conference & Expo, Orlando, Fla.
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