“The people of Asheville have had enough of being exploited, and it is time to abolish the Buncombe County TDA.”
“In my opinion, there are no problems with the TDA. The problems lie elsewhere,” said Vice Chair Himanshu Karvir during the tourism authority’s Nov. 20 meeting. “The problem lies with individuals that have nothing to do with our industry and have no idea how hotels operate, how the TDA operates and what the occupancy tax does for our community.”
In 2017, the county’s tourism board launched the Transylvania Always initiative, which has since invested thousands of occupancy tax dollars into everything from hiking trail restoration to French Broad River cleanup. “I really don’t know of anywhere else, particularly anywhere else of our small size, that is doing anything similar,” says Clark Lovelace, the TCT’s executive director.
Last year, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority contributed $75,000 to Chow Chow through its event development incubator fund. Planning is underway for the festival’s second year, which has a projected budget of $700,000. The event is tentatively scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 10-13, with final dates to be confirmed in November.
A survey released from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority reveals a mixture of attitudes concerning tourism from residents.
The results of a months-long public input process to gauge perceptions of the tourism industry on Buncombe County will be shared at a free event on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy announced it has protected 139 acres in the Beaverdam watershed in Haywood County, and the Better Buses Together campaign is urging local residents to advocate for increased transit funding.
As she wrapped up her work on the AVL Greater and AVL 5×5 2025 plans in late September, we chatted with futurist Rebecca Ryan about her upcoming encore keynote address at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s WomanUP gala on Thursday, Nov. 18, what makes Asheville and Buncombe County different and how we’ll know if the area is on track to make good on the new strategies.
Last year, AVL hosted over 1.13 million passengers, an 18.6% jump from 2017’s total and over 67% more travelers than used the airport five years prior. Tina Kinsey, the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority’s director of marketing, public relations and air service development, says the airport is now striving to manage its expansion and ensure its long-term path maintains a steady cruising altitude.
Asheville City Council voted to halt hotel approvals for one year and will use the time to examine the impact of hotels on the community and develop new guidelines for hotel approval.
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.
“We recognize that the impacts of tourism are creating some experiences in our community that residents don’t like, and there are feelings that we’re being overwhelmed by tourism,” said Stephanie Brown, president and CEO of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, in a Sept. 3 presentation to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.
Leadership Asheville pulled in some high-octane local speakers for the final installment of its summer Buzz Breakfast series held on Aug. 14. The composition of the panel reveals some key trends shaping the power dynamic that’s emerged over the past year.
Habitat plans to use the money to provide down payment assistance for 38 affordable housing units at its proposed Old Haywood Road neighborhood in West Asheville. Households earning 80% or less of the area median income ($52,800 for a family of four) would receive $20,000 toward a home purchase.
The Tourism Development Authority discusses the proposed hotel moratorium during a July 31 board meeting.
“Apparently, if locals want answers, they should demand them at the next election, which, I understand has been put off for another year.”
As the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority unanimously passed its nearly $19.36 million operating budget for fiscal year 2019-20 on June 26, Brown noted that the authority had begun engagement around its Tourism Management and Investment Plan.
The county’s strategic thinking on tourism, explained Director of Intergovernmental Projects Tim Love, has focused on “the circulation of tourists to our unique, eclectic and vibrant community destinations.” That mission is driving Buncombe’s current input on the Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Management & Investment Plan.
The first meeting of the Community Leadership Council — convened by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority — provided a new forum for familiar kudos and criticisms of the area’s tourism industry. Nearly 40 invited community members, including elected officials, municipal staffers, nonprofit employees and business folk, accepted the TDA’s request to participate in the […]