Tourism Summit 2022: RSVP by May 16
Event is free with advance registration; sign up no later than Monday, 12 noon

The annual Explore Asheville Tourism Summit is filling up fast. Taking place Wednesday, May 18, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Omni Grove Park Inn, this event is free to community partners with advance registration. The deadline to register is Monday, May 16 at 12 noon.

Doors open at 12; the lunchtime program starts promptly at 12:30 with keynote speaker Stewart Colovin, Executive VP of MMGY Global Brand Strategy, presenting an engaging session on the Foundations of Storytelling.

Then, Evita Robinson, the globally recognized founder of NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, an online social community primarily for travelers of color, will lead a diversity training workshop focused on Black travelers. Joining her will be professors Alana Dillette and Stefanie Benjamin, co-directors of Tourism RESET, a research collaborative focusing on issues around race, ethnicity and social equity in tourism. Learn more about event presenters here >>.

A networking reception on the patio follows. Sign up now to ensure your seat at this event!

REGISTER NOW: Tourism Summit 2022


Showcasing Travel & Tourism Careers, Partners & People
New videos celebrate local people working in travel & tourism

The Explore Asheville Tourism Summit is part of the National Travel & Tourism commemoration that takes place annually in May. This year, we also launched a series of videos celebrating people like Erin Oldread, animal curator at the WNC Nature Center, who shares what it's like to work in the travel and tourism industry. See more of these stories at the Tourism Summit or watch here >>

Event introduces job opportunities & career paths to the next generation

One potential solution to the labor shortage challenging our community is finding opportunities to introduce high school students to the wide variety of career choices in travel and hospitality. To that end, Explore Asheville and about 20 partner organizations participated in the recent Buncombe County Schools high school career fair. See a video of the event here>>

Opportunity: Participate in the State of Our Workforce survey

The Mountain Area Workforce Development Board and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe with other regional partners are seeking input from employers on the skills and training most needed in workers. The State of Our Workforce: Western NC survey is designed to help improve the region's workforce pipeline and ensure that area employers have the workforce they need to succeed. Take the survey by the deadline of May 31. Survey participants are eligible for a prize drawing from organizers.


Greenways, sidewalks, public art, parking, bike lanes and landscaping in the River Arts District are among community projects supported by TPDF.

Tourism Product Development Fund (Phase 1)
Recording of info session now online; apply by June 1

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, through the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF), has invested more than $44 million in support of 39 community projects since 2001.The 2022 grant cycle for the fund is officially underway and Buncombe County nonprofits and municipal partners are invited to apply. The deadline for Phase 1 applications is June 1. A virtual info session took place on May 4. Click below to find a link of the session recording.

DETAILS & APPLY: Tourism Product Developent Fund
COVID Relief: Business Recovery Grant Program (Phase 2)
Expanded eligibility, even for Phase 1 grantees; apply by June 1

Businesses that suffered economic loss of at least 20% during the pandemic may be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $500,000 from Phase 2 of the Business Recovery Grant program administered by the NC Dept. of Revenue. Service providers such as tour guides, massage therapists, and farmers can now apply, in addition to businesses in hospitality, arts, entertainment, retail, and recreation. Also, businesses not eligible in Phase 1 because they previously received other COVID-19 relief may be eligible and even those who received a grant in Phase 1 may be eligible for an additional grant in Phase 2. Apply online by June 1.

DETAILS & APPLY: Business Recovery Grant Program


'Leave No Trace' Toolkit Available for Partners
Encourage visitors & guests to #RecreateResponsibly

Help encourage your guests and visitors to recreate responsibly by promoting the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. Find a toolkit created especially for partners that includes Leave No Trace logos, icons and more, including instructions for embedding the "Exploring Asheville: Recreate Responsibly" video on your own site.

DOWNLOAD: 'Leave No Trace' Toolkit
Seasonal Reminder: Update Your Listing!
Do you need to refresh your images for summer?

Summer visitors are coming! It's time to check the photos on your listing. High-quality, high-resolution images can lead to more click-throughs. Photos should be at least 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels tall. Need help? Find instructions here >>


Upcoming Local Events Supported by Buncombe County TDA
Support aligns with strategic imperatives

In alignment with Explore Asheville's strategic imperatives, Buncombe County TDA is a supporter of the following upcoming events. Note: The next deadline to apply for sponsorship support is May 15. Learn more here >>

- Downtown After 5 | May 20*
- GRINDFest | May 27-30
- AVL Beer Week | May 27-June 5
- Hola Asheville | June 11
- Asheville Ideas Fest | June 14-19

* Continues monthly through September

Deliver Balanced Recovery & Sustainable Growth | Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel |
Engage & Invite More Diverse Audiences | Promote & Support Asheville's Creative Spirit

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