Weekly e-newsletter for VisitNC partners
January 30, 2019
IN THIS ISSUE:
* Garis Tuesday keynote speaker for Visit NC 365
* TRAC coming to Chowan County region next week
* Brevard area in the national spotlight
Garis Tuesday keynote speaker for Visit NC 365

Dustin Garis is Tuesday's keynote speaker for the Visit NC 365 Conference, in Wilmington March 31 - April 2. A world-renowned brand innovator, Garris has become known as "Chief Troublemaker" for his innovative approach to brand-building, customer experience, and change leadership. His deep insights and charismatic persona keep audiences captivated while helping organizations embark on the next frontier of innovation. With a particular focus on how brands can enrich lives, Garis offers examples of brands that are getting it right by "revolting against routine," and creating memorable experiences to drive engagement among Millennial consumers and employees.
 
New this year, Visit NC is offering a Meet & Greet session on Sunday afternoon. New and veteran attendees can meet Visit NC's 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. 
 
The registration rate is $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.
A previous TRAC in Dobson
TRAC coming to Edenton/Chowan County region next week

Next week, on Thursday, Feb. 7, tourism-related businesses in Edenton and Chowan County - plus 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 North Carolina's Tourism Resource Assistance Center (TRAC) is a community-based training program designed to help small tourism-related businesses. TRAC will be held 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, 117 E. King Street in Edenton.
 
There is no charge to attend, no reservation is required, and there is no PowerPoint presentation. 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 North Carolina'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 North Carolina and its partners.
 
Representatives from the EDPNC's BLNC, N.C. Welcome Centers/Visitor Services, N.C. State Parks, Agritourism, and NC GreenTravel are often 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 AndrĂ© Nabors at (919) 447-7771.
Brevard area in the national spotlight
 
On Tuesday (yesterday), NBC's Today included the Brevard area in its "4 getaways to book for National Plan for Vacation Day." In addition to the many waterfalls, the area was noted for kayaking and hiking, with the Greystone Inn suggested for accommodations. Today's lifestyle & travel correspondent Dayvee Sutton participated at Visit NC media missions in Atlanta and Charlotte, attended the 2017 Visit NC 365 Conference, and was later hosted by the Transylvania County TDA. The media relationship and resulting story are a direct result of Transylvania County TDA's partnering with Visit NC's PR efforts.
New York travel show sees strong interest in N.C
 
This past weekend, Visit NC attended The New York Times Travel Show in New York, partnering with Outer Banks VB, Greenville-Pitt County CVB, Rockingham County, New Bern CVB, Smithfield/Johnston County, Ocracoke Civic & Business Assn. and Crystal Coast Lady Cruises. The booth saw a steady amount of traffic throughout the travel show, which saw an attendance of nearly 30,000 consumers, travel agents, bloggers and travel writers. 
 
Consumer travel shows offer additional opportunities for Visit NC and interested partners to promote travel to North Carolina to potential visitors who are actively looking for travel suggestions and information. Partners interested in participating in future shows with Visit NC should contact Andre Nabors at (919) 447-7771.
Visit North Carolina, industry partners promote group travel to N.C. at ABA Marketplace
 
More than 20 industry partners joined Visit NC's Amanda Baker at the 2019 American Bus Association (ABA) Meeting & Marketplace, one of the premier industry events for group travel, this week in Louisville, Ky. More than 3,500 delegates attended this year's conference, engaging in pre-scheduled meetings, networking events and educational sessions. Visit NC took more than 30 appointments with tour operators during the week, promoting group travel throughout the state. These qualified leads will be available in the coming weeks. During the Dine Around night, a networking event for tour operators was hosted by Visit NC and N.C. partners Cabarrus CVB, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Visit Charlotte, Days Inn Outer Banks, Hilton Garden Inn Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks VB, Ramada Plaza Nags Head, Visit NC Smokies and Visit Winston-Salem.
 
For more information on Visit NC's group travel program, such as ways to attract this market to a particular destination, contact Amanda Baker at (919) 447-7765.
American adding DFW to AVL flight

American Airlines is adding a new, daily flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to Asheville Regional Airport.  The nonstop service from DFW to AVL begins May 3.
Biscuits take the spotlight

The February issue of Our State magazine spotlights biscuits with 27 "must-eats." "Downtown" tours Apex; "Restaurant" features Lou Reda's in Rocky Mount; "Short & Sweet" samples Black Mountain Chocolate in Winston-Salem; "Gathering Place" highlights Molley Chomper Hard Cider in Lansing; and "Farm Tour" visits MG3 Farms in Maxton. The February issue is available now.
Promote your sustainable destination at no cost
 
North Carolina's NC GreenTravel Initiative is the most extensive program of its kind in the nation. The recognition program is a joint effort of Visit North Carolina, the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service, East Carolina University's Center for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, and Waste Reduction Partners. The program is designed to provide recognition for tourism businesses and organizations that have implemented green practices. It also provides free technical support to help businesses implement more sustainable efforts. To become a recognized NC GreenTravel Destination, businesses operators can complete an online self-application form. Once the application has been submitted, it is reviewed and scored. If tourism businesses meet the necessary score to be recognized, they are awarded a One-, Two-, or Three-Dogwood Blossom rating based on how well they met the criteria for categories such as Lodging, Restaurants, Parks, Attractions, Museums, Welcome Centers, Festivals, Wineries, Breweries and Nature Based and other tourism-oriented businesses. Tourism businesses that have been recognized by the program receive a window decal, a certificate indicating the level of recognition, and are listed on the NC GreenTravel website. To learn more, contact NC GreenTravel Initiative Manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140.
For the week of Jan. 31, 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 Nov. 28, spotlighting the Carolina Touring Company in Raleigh; Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg; Enchanted Airlie in Wilmington and Denton Farm Park Holiday Train in Denton; and the East Carolina Wildlife Art Festival in Washington. (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 Page or contact Tourism Research Director Marlise Taylor at (919) 447-7748.

Upcoming Industry Meetings & Events

Through Jan. 31 - RCMA Emerge, Greensboro
Through Feb. 3 - Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah
Feb. 2-6 - CARVC Conference & Expo, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Feb. 7 - Visit NC's TRAC, Edenton
Feb. 10-11 - NC Assn. of Festivals & Events ShowFest, Charlotte
Feb. 11-12 - NC Agritourism Farm Tour & Conference, Winston-Salem
Feb. 12 - NC Travel & Tourism Board Meeting, Raleigh
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 8-16 - SXSW Festival Conference, Austin, Texas
March 12-14 - NC Main Street Conference, Salisbury
March 19-21 - STS Connections / SETTRA Meeting, Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 31-April 2 - Visit NC 365 Conference, Wilmington
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