Weekly e-newsletter for VisitNC partners
January 9, 2019
* Early Registration for Visit NC 365 ends this Friday
*  Visit PR team seeks info about factory tours
* Visit NC's efforts result in 
USS North Carolina in the spotlight
* TRAC coming to Edenton/Chowan County 
region Feb. 7
Early Registration for Visit NC 365 ends this Friday

Early Registration ends this Friday, 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.
Visit PR team seeks info about factory tours
Visit NC's PR team is compiling a list of factory tours that are open to the public. The catalyst for the outreach is a request from the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce that arrived shortly before the partial government shutdown. When the shutdown ends, the PR team will share the information with the Travel and Tourism office for use in its "Made in America" campaign. In the meantime, the information can be used for media pitching and group tour efforts. If you know of a factory tour that's open to the public, please send information to media@visitnc.com. The basics and a weblink will suffice. There's no need to include breweries, wineries and distilleries, but anything else would be appreciated.
Visit NC's efforts result in USS North Carolina in the spotlight

One of the writers that participated in Visit North Carolina's "Blackbeard" familiarization tour last spring arrived early so he could see more of the N.C. coast. That trip resulted in the writer's "Delve into the past aboard USS North Carolina," which ran in the Toronto Sun. The article covered the history of the battleship and what visitors to the site today can enjoy at the attraction. In addition, the writer spent time with the Battleship North Carolina's executive director, (retired) Captain Terry Bragg, who provided additional insight. The Toronto Sun has a circulation of 481,000.
A previous TRAC at Lake Junaluska
TRAC coming to Edenton/Chowan County region Feb. 7

On 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.
N.C. airport & airline news 
Frontier adding eight flights to RDU  - Frontier Airlines is adding flights from eight destinations to Raleigh-Durham International Airport this spring. Frontier on Monday announced nonstop flights from Columbus, Jacksonville and Tampa as well as five destinations in the Northeast: Philadelphia, Boston, Hartford, Albany and Long Island MacArthur Airport, about 50 miles east of Manhattan. Boston, Columbus and Tampa flights start May 1, and the others on April 30.

American launching AVL flight from New York City - American Airlines has announced it will launch a flight in early May connecting New York City's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Asheville Regional Airport (AVL). The new seasonal, nonstop route will be available on weekends this summer.

Via Airlines adding Birmingham flight to RDU - Via Airlines is adding a nonstop flight between RDU and Birmingham, Ala. The flight, connecting RDU and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), is scheduled to start in April, will plans to operate four times each week.
Vote for N.C. faves among 10Best airport categories

Several RDU and CLT favorites are among the 10Best airport nominations. Online voting by readers is now open via USAToday.com's website; click on the hyperlink to vote. Voting ends Jan. 28at noon.
Best Airport Bar - Whisky River, RDU
Best Airport Grab-and-Go Dining - 1897 Market, RDU
Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere - Whisky River, RDU
Best Airport Sitdown Dining - Whisky River, CLT
Best Airport Shop for Local Merchandise - Root & Branch, RDU
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad among the 'Most scenic train rides in the U.S.'

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City is among Oprah Magazine's "12 Most Scenic Train Rides in the U.S." Of the GSMR, the online article noted, "Unlock North Carolina's green, rolling hills on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. The railroad offers two scenic journeys: a 32-mile Tuckasegee River excursion - moving through the Smoky's green valleys and passing by the set of classic film The Fugitive before stopping for an hour-and-a-half in Dillsboro - and a 44-mile, four-and-a-half hour round trip Nantahala Gorge excursion, moving along the Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers, passing over Fontana Lake, and finishing in the Nantahala Gorge before returning to Bryson City. Families particularly love the rides, which include boxed lunches and offers some cars complete with Open Air Gondola and private attendants."
Asheville, Brunswick Islands, Jackson County among 'Southern scenic cities that double as movie, TV filming spots'

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution included Asheville, Brunswick Islands and Jackson County in its article "8 Southern scenic cities that double as movie, TV filming spots." For Asheville, the article said, "[Is} set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, is well known as an oasis for outdoor thrill seekers... Biltmore in Asheville was noted as its "grandiose facade, lagoon, bridge and barn have been featured in films including The Swan, Last of the Mohicans, Forrest Gump and Hannibal." For Brunswick Islands, it was noted, "Stretching more than 45 miles and featuring charming coastal communities and pristine beaches, North Carolina's Brunswick Islands capitalize on their breezy beach-life appeal... Both Sunset Beach and Southport were filming backdrops for Every Breath, Safe Haven and The Longest Ride." And, of Jackson County, the article explained, "Home to mountain towns Cashiers, Sylva and Dillsboro, Jackson County offers visitors waterfalls, lakes, forests, mountainsides, hiking trails and charming small town living - all reasons that movie scouts love the area too... Travel along the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Dillsboro to experience the train wreckage scene from The Fugitive, [go to] Cashiers where the Dirty Dancing remake filmed or [visit downtown] Sylva, which became the set of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."
Asheville Art Museum noted among museums opening this year

USA Today included the Asheville Art Museum among its "History, art and dogs get their due at museums opening this year." The article explained, "This Blue Ridge Mountains town has long attracted artists and artisans, but its art museum has only had room for a tiny percentage of its holdings. That will change with an expansion this spring. 'This is a revitalization of huge proportions,' [the article's resource] says."
Take the chill off with the January issue

The January issue of Our State magazine offers a photo essay on Biltmore Estate's Conservatory, plus ways to enjoy the winter's cool weather. "Restaurant" features Stone Table in Monroe; "Gathering Place" visits Boxcar Bar + Arcade in Raleigh; "Farm Tour" highlights Happy Hens & Highlands in Burnsville; and "Short & Sweet" spotlights The Flour Girls Café & Bakery in Elizabeth City. The January issue is available now.
Make 2019 the year to go green(er)

To help save money, energy and even help the earth, consider a New Year's resolution to make your hotel, attraction, shop, restaurant or event more green. Energy-saving devices and recycling are simple ways to start but there are more options, too. The NC GreenTravel Initiative recognition program provides tourism-oriented businesses in North Carolina a no-cost, non-regulatory option to be recognized for their adoption of green practices. For many tourism businesses, being recognized by a sustainability recognition program is one way to set their business apart from their competitors. Being recognized by a program such as the NC GreenTravel Initiative as a green hotel, restaurant, brewery, winery or attraction is also a great way to validate their efforts to be green. As more tourism businesses claim to be green, participating in a program like NC GreenTravel is a reputable way to show visitors a property not only talks about being green, but has acted to do so. Adding sustainability and green marketing to a business strategy may enhance the brand image and better secure market share among the growing number of environmentally concerned consumers. The NC GreenTravel program also provides several resources and tools to help implement additional sustainable practices. For more information about the NC GreenTravel Initiative or for free technical assistance, contact contact Program Manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140. 
For the week of Jan. 9, 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. 7, spotlighting Edenton; Nags Head Woods Preserve in Kill Devil Hills; Morgan Street Food Hall in Raleigh; and the Outlander "scenes" at Tryon Palace in New Bern. (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.
Germany had the largest increase from 2016 to 2017 in terms of the top international countries of origin sending visitors to North Carolina. Visitation increased nearly 8 percent in 2017, with the country sending more than 50,000 visitors. For more North Carolina visitor spending information, visit Research, or contact Visit NC's Marlise Taylor at (919) 447-7748.

Upcoming Industry Meetings & Events

Jan. 10 - NC Coast Host Quarterly Meeting, Mount Olive
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. 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, 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 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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