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New 2010 North Carolina travel guide available now

The North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development recently unveiled its official 2010 North Carolina Travel Guide.

For the first time ever, the guide highlights two important anniversaries by using two separate cover images, one featuring the Blue Ridge Parkway and the other showcasing the city of New Bern.

The 2010 Travel Guide is free and available by calling 1-800-VISITNC. It can also be ordered at VisitNC.com (http://www.visitnc.com/travelpubs), the states official website for travel information, or picked up at any of the states nine official interstate welcome centers.

Half the guides will feature a scenic image from the Blue Ridge Parkway; Americas Favorite Drive celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2010 with a yearlong series of local events. The other half of the guides showcases a cover image of the historic city of New Bern, which celebrates its 300th Anniversary in 2010.

New Bern, one of the states oldest towns and a colonial capital, will host a yearlong celebration of cultural, educational and historical tours and events. The content inside all 650,000 guides is identical, including feature stories on both anniversaries as well as other important news in North Carolina such as the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year in Charlotte.

Visitors to North Carolina can join us in celebrating these unique visitor attractions in 2010 while experiencing the natural, scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the historic charm of New Bern, said Lynn Minges, Assistant Secretary for Tourism, Marketing and Global Branding in the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Our comprehensive publication also illustrates the evolution of North Carolinas brand message as the states tourism marketing agency continues to add dimension, energy and a more active voice to the states renowned natural beauty. The guide is made possible by strong travel industry partners who help underwrite the print and online versions of the publication with nearly $2 million in public and private investment.

In addition to the two cover articles, editorial features in the 2010 Travel Guide celebrate the states diversity and range of activities including music, motorsports, the Civil Rights movement and golf as well as stories on farm-to-table restaurants and family-friendly animal attractions.

North Carolinas unique natural and cultural attractions are beautifully captured in the 2010 Travel Guide, Minges said. This guide provides information on events, festivals and every kind of outdoor activity that residents and visitors alike will enjoy. From hiking in the mountains to playing golf in the Piedmont or surf fishing on the coast, there is something for everyone in North Carolina.

The 2010 Travel Guide showcases 776 attractions, 4,026 accommodations and includes information on activities throughout North Carolina including its state and national parks.

The 2010 Travel Guide will also live online at VisitNC.com as a virtual guide. The new virtual guide will soon premier at www.visitnc.com/travelpubs. Some 650,000 print guides will be distributed through online, call center and visitor center inquiries in addition to public relations efforts, events and other related Division activities.

Tourism remains one of the states most vital industries. The economic activity and employment generated by tourism spans various economic sectors. Annually, visitors to North Carolina spend $16.8 billion, generating more than 190,500 jobs for North Carolinians. State and local tax revenues, as a result of the visitor spending, total more than $1.38 billion.

Call 1-800-VISIT NC or go to VisitNC.com to plan your next getaway.