Tourism leaders across the state talked recently with Carolina Public Press about how their cities are managing the need to maintain tourism dollars, balanced with concerns for the health of their citizens.
Marla Tambellini, deputy director and vice president of marketing for the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; Lee Nettles, executive director, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau; and Tom Murray, CEO, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority talked with host Stephanie Carson.
The state has beautiful sites from the mountain to the coast and they’re a big draw for people around the country every summer. This year, as many metropolitan areas shut down outside of the state – North Carolina’s tourism leaders are trying to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy economy and healthy population.
All three organizations CPP spoke with put a pause on advertising in the beginning of the pandemic, and have had different approaches to marketing since then.
Asheville paused outreach until the top of July when they briefly opened it to specific markets from areas where positive COVID-19 tests were not on the increase. The city recently paused marketing efforts again.
Charlotte found itself in the middle of a nationwide debate over the Republican National Convention earlier this year, but now is seeking out smaller events until COVID-19 cases are under control.
Many areas of the Outer Banks shut access to nonresidents early in the spring. The coastal region is now enjoying a booming tourism surge, as people seek out beach houses and private beaches to social distance.
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