During a June 24 meeting, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board heard a presentation from marketing firm 360i about a new advertising campaign, scheduled to start in July, designed to attract a “responsible tourist audience” to the region. Ads will target visitors whose behaviors agree with “psychographic statements” about “willingness to conform.”
In the first weekend of March, said Explore Asheville’s Marla Tambellini, hotels throughout the county were at roughly 90% occupancy. By March 27-28, only about 15% of rooms were filled, and the average price for those accommodations was approximately half its usual rate — $80 instead of $160.
The target audience for a new $11.5 million marketing campaign developed by Atlanta-based ad agency 360i includes 20 million more people than were reached by last year’s advertising for Asheville. New cities where ads will be shown include New York, Chicago, Birmingham and Columbus, Ohio.
From now through the end of the year, 465 new rooms are expected to join the nearly 8,000 already operating in Buncombe County. With many more approved and under construction in 2020 and beyond, just keeping track of what is being built where and by whom is no small challenge.
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the city of Asheville have announced a plan to conduct a corridor study prior to planning improvements for Merrimon Avenue.