Weekly e-newsletter for VisitNC partners
December 19, 2018
* 2019 N.C. Travel Guide now available in print, online
* Early Registration for Visit NC 365 ends Jan. 11
*  N.C. residents can enjoy the holidays with in-state day-trips and weekend getaways
* Spectrum TV viewers learn about N.C. film industry
2019 N.C. Travel Guide now available in print, online
The Official 2019 North Carolina Travel Guide is now available. From a come-to-life cover to a 57-item bucket list, the Travel Guide inspires travelers to seek first-time experiences that create enduring memories in destinations from the mountains to the sea. The guide is available in print and digital editions.
The new guide offers three covers, one for each region of the state: waterfall rappelling in Saluda, Whiskey Kitchen in Raleigh, and the Wrights Brothers Experience at Nags Head. The guide's three covers come to life via the augmented reality app Layar. The app launches 20-second videos that show gliding from sand dunes, indulging in craft cocktails, and rappelling down a waterfall. The free app is available for download via iTunes and Google Play.
The Official 2019 North Carolina Travel Guide is available to travelers at the state's nine Welcome Centers; it can also be ordered via VisitNC.com or by calling 1-800-VISIT NC (800-847-4862). A digital magazine version can be accessed via https://www.visitnc.com/travel-guides.
Bulk orders of the Travel Guide are available by emailing your request and physical delivery information to Teresa Smith at the Call Center. The Travel Guide is available at no cost for distribution by visitor centers, attractions, accommodations and other tourism-related businesses.
"The 'Firsts That Last' theme goes beyond highlighting North Carolina's historic firsts to celebrating the personal firsts that come with traveling across the state," said Visit NC's Wit Tuttell. "People will forever connect place with a first sip of Cheerwine or moonshine, hearing music and tracing its genes to where it's performed, or riding into the scenery on horseback. It's all about immersing yourself in the moment and discovering something new."
Vibrant photos and text capture the energy of North Carolina's urban centers, explore the charms of its nooks and crannies, turn on the appetite for farm-grown fare and artisan chocolate, and point the way to distinctive shopping. The pages lead to regional directories that list accommodations and attractions in hundreds of destinations. A two-page map lays out major roads, bodies of water, parks, and cities and towns.
The 2019 Travel Guide, the official guide for North Carolina's state tourism office, was produced by Meredith Travel Marketing. It was financed by private industry support with advertising in the 500,000 printed copies. Listings for the 873 attractions and 2,755 accommodations and campgrounds were provided for free.
Early Registration for Visit NC 365 ends Jan. 11

Early Registration ends Jan. 11 for the 2019 Visit NC 365 Conference, in Wilmington March 31 - April 2 at the Wilmington Convention Center. Stimulating keynote speakers and sessions will offer new ideas and inspirations. The Visit NC 365 Conference, named for the year-round tourism industry across the state, brings together more than 500 of the state's tourism industry leaders during this three-day premier travel industry event. 
New this year, Visit NC is offering a Meet & Greet session on Sunday afternoon. New and veteran attendees can meet the 14-member team. Use this opportunity to see how to get the most out of Visit NC and the annual tourism conference. Also new, Visit NC is offering facilitated networking opportunities during the Monday and Tuesday breakfast sessions. Plan to arrive early each morning for facilitated discussions based on region and budget size. 
Get discounted conference registration with the Early Registration rate, which is $475/person now through Jan. 11. After that, the Regular Registration rate is in effect at $499/person. Click here to register.
When you register, don't forget to share in the action with the hashtag #VisitNC365 on Twitter @NCTourism and Facebook @NCarolinaTourism.
For more information on the conference, contact Dana Grimstead at (919) 447-7761. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, offering a range of options.
N.C. residents can enjoy the holidays with in-state day-trips and weekend getaways

Visit NC's Mark Shore was a guest on Durham's WTVD's Together Perspectives. For a segment on "Holiday Tourism in North Carolina," he discussed with host John Clark the many attractions that residents of North Carolina can visit during the holiday season for a day-trip or weekend getaway. Less obvious destinations and fun light displays as travel ideas and best-time-to-visit suggestions were also discussed. "Over the holidays, in particular, we love having out-of-state visitors, and many are visiting friends and relatives. And so we recognized that letting our citizens know what there is to see and do allows them to be great ambassadors for the state of North Carolina."
Spectrum TV viewers learn about N.C. film industry

N.C. Film Office Director Guy Gaster was one of four guests on Spectrum TV's "In Focus" this past Sunday. Gaster discussed the "Future of North Carolina's Film Industry" with program host Loretta Boniti. He talked about the importance of the film rebate program to the industry. Gaster noted how the decision-makers in the industry are looking for the best way to spend their production dollars. "I think that our industry is also working on better ways to show the benefits of filming [in North Carolina]," he said. "I think a lot of people look at [the film grants] and they see you're offering $31 million annually to productions. Yes, but that really is going to equate to over $150 million being spent here in the state in those local economies directly. And I think that gets lost at times is what that money goes out, what it's really bringing in." The episode also looked at what lawmakers are doing to improve the state's film industry, speaking with Sen. Paul Lowe. Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin and film director Joanne Hock discussed what N.C.-based film-makers believe the future of the industry holds for North Carolina.
One-in-Three Americans will travel this holiday season, the most on record

AAA forecasts that more than one-third of Americans will travel this holiday season. The record-breaking 112.5 million travelers taking to the nation's runways, roads and rails for the year-end holidays represents a 4.4 percent increase over last year and the most since AAA has been tracking holiday travel. More than 102 million people are expected to travel by car. It is the highest number of holiday travelers since AAA began tracking the trends in 2001. This year's holiday travel period runs Saturday, Dec. 22 - Tuesday, Jan. 1, which is one day more than last year.
Cycle NC selects Brevard for 2019 CNC Mountain Ride

Cycle NC has selected Brevard as the host for its 2019 Mountain Ride, Aug. 3-4. The six annual, two-day cycling festival will feature a variety of route options each day that focus on showcasing the beautiful landscapes that Western North Carolina has to offer. The Mountain Ride attracts 400 participants annually from 15 states. Visit North Carolina is a founding sponsor of Cycle NC's Mountain Ride each August and the Coastal Ride in the spring, and one of the founding sponsors of the Mountains to Coast ride in the fall.
Creating a sustainable destination
It's no secret that more travelers are seeking environmentally sustainable destinations for their vacations and holiday getaways. For a hotel, restaurant, attraction or other destination, it pays to go green. The good news is that developing a sustainable business is not an all-or-nothing effort. Small changes in the way your business operates can make all the difference. For example, as lightbulbs and fixtures burn out, replace them with energy-efficient equipment. Prices for LED bulbs are more affordable than ever. Prices for 60-watt equivalent bulbs that use only 9-watts and can last more than 20 years cost less than $2. Conserving water is always made easier and affordable by purchasing low-flow faucet aerators for sinks. Installing water-saving toilet fill valves and checking for leaks in the toilet flapper also can save quite a bit. It's easy to start a recycling/reuse program to keep waste out of the landfill. Purchase wisely to reduce solid waste by reducing packaging. Over time, a site can become a very green destination. Just remember: baby steps! For free information about going green and NC GreenTravel, contact Program Manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140.
For the week of Dec. 20, North Carolina Weekend continues the second part of its new format: running eight episodes, one each week, and then repeating those episodes for the following eight weeks. So this week's episode is a repeat of the one that originally aired Oct. 18. It features the Original Siamese Twins exhibit at the Surry Arts Council in Mount Airy; the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro; and the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville; the "House Special" features Villa Verde Dominican Restaurant in Greenville. (Check local listings; segments are subject to change.) North Carolina Weekend is underwritten by Visit North Carolina. In addition, UNC-TV has recent editions of North Carolina Weekend available online.
On average in 2017, every dollar spent by domestic and international travelers in North Carolina produced 25.3 cents in wage and salary income. For more North Carolina visitor spending information, visit Economic Impact Studies, or contact Visit NC's Marlise Taylor at (919) 447-7748.

Upcoming Industry Meetings & Events

Jan. 16-17 - BRPA Winter Meeting, Wyethville, Va.
Jan. 24-25 - MPI Carolinas Chapter Meeting, Durham
Jan 24-Feb. 3 - Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah
Jan. 25-29 - ABA Marketplace, Louisville, Ky.
Jan. 29-31 - RCMA Emerge, Greensboro
Feb. 2-6 - CARVC Conference & Expo, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Feb. 10-11 - NC Assn. of Festivals & Events ShowFest, Charlotte
Feb. 12 - NC Travel & Tourism Board Meeting, TBD
Feb. 18 - NCRLA Annual Meeting, Durham
Feb. 24-27 - Travel South Domestic Showcase, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Feb. 28-March 1 - AENC Winter Conference, Durham
March 12-14 - NC Main Street Conference, Salisbury
March 31-April 2 - Visit NC 365 Conference, Wilmington
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