There’s never been a better time for small town tourism than right nowPublished 11:04am Wednesday, September 18, 2013
A place to linger: Whether it’s outdoor dining, benches on the street or a park, guests need a place to linger. Visitors want a spot to rest and re-group.
We’re open: There’s nothing more deflating than to get to a town you’ve been dying to visit only to find that everything is closed. Looking in the windows is not fun for long. Sunday, according to most tourism data, continues to be a strong day for tourism but if everything is closed… not so much.
Exciting new opportunities in our area’s tourism offerings – the longest, steepest zip line in North America, the new St. Luke’s Plaza with a fun place to eat, play and linger and the proposed winery trail — all add up to tourism dollars.
Tourism dollars are like a cherry on top of the county’s economy. Tourism weathers economic downturns better than other industries and it stabilizes rural economies.
These trends suggest a substantial change in the nature of tourism in the United States. They show tourists will support American heritage and increasingly will be willing to pay for high quality leisure experiences. The tourism industry is changing dramatically to provide these personalized experiences. These trends focus attentions on the resources of rural communities: culture, values, quality environment and a “friendly” lifestyle.
According to a recent assessment by Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker, North Carolina’s tourism industry is almost equal to the state’s manufacturing sector, with last year’s receipts totaling $19 billion. Secretary Decker thinks it is time to give North Carolina’s tourism renewed respect with more dollars for regional marketing. In turn, this is also a good time to give our local offerings renewed respect.