While reviewing recent results and planning for the coming year at its annual strategic planning retreat, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority also grappled with its biggest challenge — convincing locals that the tourism industry is a positive force in the region.
With an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion, tourism is a critical industry in Western North Carolina. But politicians and local residents are increasingly asking whether the tourism industry is paying a fair share of the cost of providing everything from sidewalks to roads to public safety to tourists. Now, City Councilman Gordon Smith is pushing for a new study to consider the local tourism industry’s impact and sustainability.
Ashevilleans, more so than residents of many other cities, know where their food is raised, grown or picked and can often participate in the process with little effort. This reverence for cuisine afforded Asheville the honor of hosting Food Blog Forum’s 2014 conference, a three-day networking and educational event for 120 food bloggers from across the nation.
Tourists spend about $1.5 billion in Buncombe County every year and the fourth annual Creative Sector Summit will explore opportunities for local artists to raise that number and better benefit from it. The series of panel discussions, workshops and other events will unfold Thursday-Sunday, March 20-23, at venues throughout downtown Asheville.
About 150 community leaders gathered Dec. 11 to discuss Asheville’s strengths as a tourism destination, learn about new projects in the works, and share ideas for the future.
Cece Noonan, 41, says that she became aware of Asheville about four years ago. First, as she recalls, there was an ad (or maybe it was an article?) about the city in USA Today or some other newspaper. Then she read about the city and saw ads for it in Southern Living on a consistent […]