Thanks for your contributions to our community!

Each year at the Explore Asheville Holiday Party, we recognize tourism and community partners who have made standout contributions to the work we do to promote Asheville and Buncombe County as a destination. As Asheville continues its recovery, we are grateful for our 2021 Explore Asheville Superstars and their contributions to our community. Click through to learn more!

Meet the 2021 Explore Asheville Superstars

*More from the 2021 Holiday Party: Find links to photo galleries from the event elsewhere in this newsletter!


What is your sustainability story? We want to know!

Share your sustainability story with us! Travelers (and travel media) are increasingly seeking destination offerings, businesses, stories, and experiences with eco-friendly connections.

To help better highlight your sustainable practices, eco-friendly guest offerings, and corporate social responsibility programs, Explore Asheville is gathering insights ahead of media outreach, content, and marketing efforts in 2022. Click through to share your eco-conscious efforts and news.

(Not ready to share your news just yet? Feel free to email the Explore Asheville marketing team any time!)

Share Your Sustainability Story

SoCon is coming: Get fan-tastic exposure for your business!

The Southern Conference Basketball Championships return to Asheville March 3-7. Engage with visiting fans with a coupon listing on the SoCon microsite.

This page will be promoted by the conference and member schools to help people get excited about visiting Asheville, providing exposure to your business. Click below for Explore Asheville Extranet coupon instructions. Use the coupon category “SoCon.”

(And while you're at it, make plans to gather friends, family, coworkers and customers for a great opportunity to see some of the nation’s best conference tournament action! Get tickets here.)

Running low on Visitor Guides? Order NOW for free delivery

The monthly deadline to stock up on Official Asheville Visitor Guides is THURSDAY, DEC. 16 at 5 p.m. for delivery next week. (Or stop by the Asheville Visitors Center at 36 Montford Ave. to pick up an extra case.)

Order Visitor Guides

'Winter of Wellness' promotion: Here's how to participate

Explore Asheville is seeking to showcase partners that offer wellness-minded experiences with a new promotion, “Winter of Wellness,” starting in January and running through March. A combination of advertising, paid influencers, organic and boosted social media, stories, web pop-ups and fly-ins along with the possibility of PR-driven editorial coverage will support this effort. Get eligibility details and how-to info below. NOTE: The deadline to participate is Jan. 3.


Just a few quick clicks for unique & special gifts!

Finish your holiday shopping with the one-of-a-kind, locally made items you'll find in the Explore Asheville Holiday Gift Guide – more than 80 authentic goods from some of the area's top creatives, makers and craftspeople.

Shop Local Now


More relief grant opportunities coming soon for certain businesses

If you experienced gross revenue losses from March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 compared to the previous year and you're a private sector business with NAICS codes 71 and 72 (arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations, food services), you may soon be eligible to apply for up to $500,000 in direct grants.

The application portal for the $500 million program is expected to open soon, with applications accepted and reviewed through the end of January. Check to be sure that your private sector business falls within the eligible NAICS code and watch your inbox – we'll pass along the info as soon as we get it.

NAICS Code Search


Food, Fun, Fellowship, Crafts, Connections:
The 2021 Explore Asheville Holiday Party

What a celebration the (in-person but safely gathered) Holiday Party was! Thanks to all who joined us for four floors of fun, food, fellowship, crafts, connections, holiday hugs and happy moments as tourism and community partners filled the Center for Craft on Dec. 8, complete with brews from our beer sponsor Wicked Weed! Enjoy our photo gallery and feel free to tag yourself and share!

Holiday Party Photo Gallery


  • WHAT: "Get Group Ready!" Partner Salon: Information & inspiration from Explore Asheville's "group gurus" in the Sales Department
  • WHEN: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Details to come here
  • WHAT: Monthly meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (Note: December's meeting was canceled)
  • WHEN: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Details to come here

Check out the TOURISM COMMUNITY UPDATE: Highlights of Buncombe County TDA Meetings
November's meeting included an update on marketing activities – plus plans are underway to host a Tourism Product Development Fund grant cycle in 2022. Find it here!

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