Weekly e-newsletter for VisitNC partners
December 5, 2018
* Visit NC leads Canadian golf media tour
* Visit NC's international efforts result in North Carolina among the 'World's most swashbuckling 
pirate-themed holidays'
* Umstead Hotel noted for airport proximity and amenities, too
Visit NC's Hayes Norris (lf) with the group at Tobacco Road
Visit NC leads Canadian golf media tour

Last week, Visit NC's Hayes Norris led a Canadian golf media tour, working with partners at Brunswick County TDA, Greensboro Area CVB, Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area CVB and Visit Raleigh. The group played golf at Grandover Resort, Pinehurst No.4, Tobacco Road Golf Club, Rivers Edge Golf Club and Lonnie Poole Golf Course. They also visited local businesses and attractions such as Hops Burger Bar, Pinehurst Brewing Company, Bird Island Coastal Reserve, and Brewery Bhavana. The tour is expected to generate print, online and broadcast coverage across major golf and travel outlets including Flagstick magazine, Inside Golf Magazine, Score Golf and the Toronto Sun.
Visit NC's international efforts result in North Carolina among the 'World's most swashbuckling pirate-themed holidays'

To mark the 300th anniversary of the death of the pirate Blackbeard, The Telegraph in the U.K. offered "10 of the world's most swashbuckling pirate-themed holidays" [vacations], which included North Carolina. The inclusion was the result of Visit NC's international marketing team's work with the writer. Of North Carolina, the article noted, in part, "The demise of the fearsome fellow known to his mother as Edward Teach - in a firefight with the Royal Navy in 1718 - has become a selling point for North Carolina, whose [VisitNC.com] suggests a trail 'in Blackbeard's Footsteps.' Stops include the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, which holds artefacts rescued from his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge - as well as the Ocracoke hotel Blackbeard's Lodge."
Umstead Hotel noted for airport proximity and amenities, too
Visit NC's PR team secured a placement for the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary in the Bloomberg.com article "Never Stay at Crummy Airport Hotels Ever Again." The Umstead was one of the properties the PR team recommended in response to an inquiry from the writer, whose article included a photo and described the Umstead as "just a seven-minute drive from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where you can get 24-hour room service instead of a bowl of bagels." The article, which largely focused on airports with more than 10 million annual boardings (RDU has about 6 million), highlighted properties close enough to an airport to work for long layovers, early departures, brief business meetings, and international rendezvous; but because the hotels are designed as destinations rather than stopgap lodging, they offer distinctive design, memorable meals, and even some serious leisure activities. Bloomberg.com attracts 237,000 unique monthly visitors.
Great opportunities to partner with Visit NC still available

Visit NC wants to ensure all partners are aware of the opportunities offered to them through its Partner Program. These are opportunities that tourism partners can take advantage of now as they gear up for the holiday season or as they are looking forward to the spring 2019 travel planning season.
Visit NC offers programs at a variety of price points starting as low as $150, so there is something for everyone at every part of the year. Even if you already have a contract with Visit NC, please take a fresh look to see if there are any other opportunities that may be beneficial in your efforts to promote your wonderful destinations. Also feel free to share this information with your local tourism partners to review and take advantage of if it makes sense for them.  
A link to the current brochure and programs can be found here. Notable programs still available include VisitNC.com opportunities like Featured Events and Travel Deals, and the Local Market Combo: Extended Markets, as well as exciting digital programs (most of which start around only $1,500).
If you have any questions or would like to set up time with the Partner Program team to discuss options and recommendations for you, please contact LGA's Michelle Murdoch or Brooks Luquire at (704) 552-6565.
N.C.-filmed American Animals wins two British Independent Film Awards

N.C.-filmed American Animalswon two British Independent Film Awards - one for Debut Screenwriter and one for Best Editing. The awards were presented this past Sunday in London. The film shot in Gaston, Iredell and Mecklenburg counties last year and a direct in-state spend of $6,277,307 while creating 1,222 job opportunities. The project received a rebate from the state's film and entertainment grant of $1,569.326.75. The film had its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival this past January and has played at several festivals across the U.S., including South By Southwest, and opened the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem. To
view the trailer and to find out more about the film, click here.
Eight N.C. towns among 'America's 100 best places to retire'

Eight North Carolina cities have been selected as top retirement destinations in the sixth edition of "America's 100 Best Places to Retire," Where to Retire's guidebook of the country's most appealing retirement towns. The N.C. towns are Boone/Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Durham, Hendersonville, New Bern, Sylva, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. North Carolina had the second highest number of towns on the list, behind only Florida. In addition, Winston-Salem was among the Best Four-Season Towns; Charlotte and Durham were among the Best Low-Cost Towns; Boone/Blowing Rock, Hendersonville and Sylva were among the Best Mountain Towns; and New Bern was among the Best Small Towns.
Where to Retire spent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city's defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns. Each city profile combines extensive research, local knowledge and in-depth interviews with retirees who made the move.
28 counties will change tier designations for 2019
The N.C. Dept. of Commerce has released the county tier designations for 2019. The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development. Tier 1 counties are generally the most economically distressed and Tier 3 counties are generally the least economically distressed.
For 2019, 28 counties will change tier designations. Counties moving to a less distressed tier ranking include Alleghany, Ashe, Camden, Cherokee, Clay, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Montgomery, Person, Yadkin, and Yancey (from Tier 1 to Tier 2); and Currituck and Davie (from Tier 2 to Tier 3). Counties moving to a more distressed tier ranking include Beaufort, Cleveland, Cumberland, Duplin, Hoke, Nash, Rockingham, Rutherford, Sampson, Surry, Wayne, and Wilson (from Tier 2 to Tier 1); and Carteret and Granville (from Tier 3 to Tier 2).
Tier designations determine eligibility and guidelines for several different grant programs that N.C. Commerce administers including the One North Carolina Fund, building reuse, water and sewer infrastructure, and the downtown revitalization Main Street program. Tier designations also play a role in the state's performance-based Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, serving as a mechanism to channel funds for infrastructure improvements to less populated areas of the state.
A Legends & Lore marker in New York
Applications now being accepted for Legends & Lore Folklore roadside marker program

The N.C. Folklife Institute is pleased to be the statewide partner of the Pomeroy Foundation in bringing its national Legends & Lore program to North Carolina. Legends & Lore is designed to promote cultural tourism and commemorate legends and folklore as an important part of the historical past. Selected applicants will receive, at no charge, roadside markers to recognize the folklore and folk heritage of their communities. (Examples include a folktale, a local folk hero, traditional style of music or craft, or other tradition that makes a community or place special.) Nonprofit organizations, municipalities and not-for-profit educational institutions are eligible to apply. North Carolina Folklife Institute will be responsible for reviewing applications, as well as confirming the legitimacy and accuracy of folklore and legends that applicants in North Carolina intend to commemorate on a marker. To find out more, click here. For any questions, contact NC Folklife Institute's Sarah Bryan or Visit NC's Andre Nabors.
Charlotte among 'Where to travel in December'

USAToday.com included Charlotte among its ideas for "Where to travel in December." Of Charlotte, the article explained, in part, "This North Carolina town has a thriving craft beer scene, restaurants run by chefs that are James Beard semifinalists, museums, and plenty of shopping. Hotels keep popping up in uptown Charlotte, including the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, which has a rooftop bar called Merchant and Trade overlooking the city. For families, there's the U.S. National Whitewater Center, an outdoor recreation facility for whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking." Holiday events such as "The Nutcracker," "Holiday on Ice" and the "Speedway Christmas" show at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord were also mentioned.
Life experiences vs. material purchases
As a general rule, many shoppers associate purchasing material items with a greater level of happiness because they can attach an economic value to those things that are tangible. However, respondents to one survey reported that after purchasing an actual experience, those life experiences not only made them happier but were also the better value when compared to purchases of material goods. The point being that one should realize the value of good and happy memories of those experiences which last a lifetime. And, most likely, material goods made from finite resources will eventually wear out and end up in landfills, junkyards and perhaps even someone's basement. It is encouraging to know that North Carolina offers many wonderful and exciting travel experiences that visitors can remember and enjoy for a lifetime. And many North Carolina travel experiences are green! Check out the NC GreenTravel Initiative to locate sustainable destinations. For more information, contact NC GreenTravel Program Manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140.
For the week of Dec. 6, North Carolina Weekend officially starts the second part of its new format:  running eight episodes, one each week, and then repeating those episodes for the next eight weeks. So this week's episode is a repeat of the one that ran the week of Oct. 4. It features Lansing; the "North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes" exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh; Thomasville and trains; and the "House Special" at Mike's Farm in Beulaville. (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.
Canada is the top country of origin for international visitors to North Carolina. In 2017, approximately 388,500 Canadians visited the state, spending $217 million. For more North Carolina visitor information, visit the Partners Research page or contact Visit NC's Marlise Taylor at (919) 447-7748.

Upcoming Industry Meetings & Events

Dec. 13 - AENC Annual Showcase, Raleigh
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
March 31-April 2 - Visit NC 365 Conference, Wilmington
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