More Than $50 Million Invested in Community Projects; More to Come This Month
Additional Investment in Projects Through Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority's Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF)

In August the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway and the Enka Recreation Destination received an additional $6.64 million in investment through the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF). Following review by the Tourism Product Development Committee and a unanimous vote from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) Board of Directors, the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway became the largest funded project in the history of the Fund.

“BCTDA is proud to be a collaborative community partner to enhance the quality of life for residents and create additional amenities for visitors through the Tourism Product Development Fund,” said Vic Isley, president & CEO for Explore Asheville and the BCTDA. “Investing in these types of projects is in full alignment with Explore Asheville’s strategic imperatives that ladder up to broader community goals."

Since the inception of the TPDF in 2001, BCTDA has now invested more than $50 million in 39 community tourism projects. 

More Investment to be Determined at October 26 BCTDA Board Meeting

Awards for the 2023 TPDF and Festivals & Cultural Events (F&CE) grant cycle will be decided at the October 26 BCTDA board meeting. More than $9 million is available for investment through this TPDF grant cycle which is funded solely through lodging taxes paid by overnight visitors to Buncombe County.

Funding for the F&CE program comes from unrestricted, earned revenue collected through advertising sales and lodging reservations booked on $100,000 is available this cycle through the F&CE grant.


Want to Reach Visitors? Here's a Top Opportunity
The 2023 Official Asheville Visitor Guide

Ad sales for the 2023 Official Asheville Visitor Guide are now underway with an early-bird deadline of October 26. Did you know:

  • 83% of undecided travelers were influenced to choose a destination after reviewing a visitor guide.
  • 88% have used a visitor guide to help plan a vacation.
  • 79% of visitors picked up a visitor guide or brochure.
  • 62% of visitors say printed visitor guides are extremely important.
Email Us for More Information

Need more Visitor Guides this month? Visitor guides are available for pick up anytime at the front desk of the Asheville Visitor Center at 36 Montford Avenue. 

Make this Holiday Season Merry
Submit Your Holiday News & Events by this Friday, October 21

The holiday season will be here soon and news outlets are excited to hear what’s happening in Asheville! The Explore Asheville PR and content teams are ready to share your holiday news and updates. This includes special holiday hours, menu items, quirky holiday history, events/pop-ups, and experiences.

Please submit your holiday news by Friday, October 21, to be included in holiday pre-publicity efforts. In addition, Explore Asheville is in the beginning stages of collecting good news for our “What’s New in 2023” press release.

Submit Your News
Warm Welcome to our New Partners
We are Delighted to Shine a Light on Your Creativity


Gold Leaf Guilders Give Back to YMI Center
Conference Community Project Results in Handmade New Signage & Guilded Frames

Explore Asheville's group sales team collaborated with lodging partners to influence the confirmation of more than $72 million in conference and event spending for our community last year. Bringing more purpose and meaning, last year we aligned our proactive group sales efforts with targeted business sectors -- such as outdoor products and advanced manufacturing -- to use business travel as the front porch of economic development and help diversify our economy. While here, they are encouraged to give back to the community.

Last month, the Society of Guilders convened in Asheville for their annual conference and sought out a Community Project. Following a scoping visit, they selected YMI Cultural Center for the project as they were "struck by the important work they have done and are doing, and the enthusiasm of the people we spoke with," according to Guild President Naomi G. Lipsky. Throughout the conference, attendees participated in the development of a new guilded sign that incoporated the new YMI logo and two guilded frames to accompany historic photographs. Thank you Society of Guilders! 

Let us know your Community Project Idea
Asheville Regional Wayfinding Signage Update
New Signage Directs Visitors to The Block, YMI Cultural Center, & Leaf Global Arts

More than 80 wayfinding signs and kiosks around the greater Asheville region have been repaired or updated over the past 10 days. These fresh signs comprise 20% of the county-wide Wayfinding Program, which was established in 2010 to facilitate ease of movement for visitors and residents throughout the Asheville area. The program comprises three types of signs: directional signage for vehicles, directional signage for pedestrians, and information kiosks.

The BCTDA manages and funds the county-wide Wayfinding program. The program aims to: 

  • Strengthen sense of place and awareness of the region’s history and character for residents and visitors
  • Move visitors throughout the region to extend economic vibrancy to less visited areas
  • Improve visitor comfort and safety
  • Encourage visitors to return by increasing their awareness of the region’s breadth of experiences
  • Solidify the Explore Asheville brand

The many updates include new signage in downtown Asheville that guides residents and visitors to The Block, the YMI Cultural Center, and Leaf Global Arts.

More Information About Our Wayfinding Program
Amplifying the Indigenous Walls Project 
The Intersection of Native-American Identity & Street Art

On October 20–23, 2022, a first-of-its-kind celebration of indigenous street art will take place in Asheville with the Intertribal Graffiti & Mural Jam. With 12 artists from 10 tribes across America participating, the event will include mural paintings of native culture throughout the city, graffiti installations, film and panel presentations, and an indigenous market from intertribal makers featuring handmade baskets, beaded works, jewelry, and paintings. The mission for this event and corresponding public art show is to amplify native and indigenous voices from all tribes across America. 


Partnering to Promote Asheville at IMEX America Tradeshow 
Explore Asheville in attendance along with Richard Brooks with the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Martha Howard with Biltmore, and Josh Cannon with Accents on Asheville DMC

This month or Group Sales Team attended IMEX America, the largest trade show for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry. This event attracts buyers from every sector of the meetings industry and Explore Asheville conducted over 50 one-on-one appointments with buyers and hosted 25 SITE SE (Society for Incentive Travel Executives, Southeast) Chapter members at a networking reception. More group meetings and events could be coming to Asheville as a result.


Peep Our Fall Color Forecasts Before They are Gone
Receive Weekly Updates to Share with Visitors Regarding Asheville's Fall Color Season

The fall season has reached peak week here in and around Asheville. With the temperatures dropping, fall colors have crept from the highest elevations into lower areas. Explore Asheville's team of Fall Color Hunters have been exploring the highest peaks to capture the leaf changes trickling down from the ridges to the valleys. Sign up for Explore Asheville's weekly Fall Color Report and receive the latest information to share with your guests about Western North Carolina's most colorful season.

Sign Up for the Fall Color Report
Leave No Trace Toolkit
Help Spread the Word on Responsible Recreation

As visitors and residents alike flock to the mountains, partners can join with us in educating visitors about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly – simply download the Leave No Trace toolkit, which includes social media assets, graphics and sample messaging. For those who want to share this message on their store fronts, request a free window cling from the Explore Asheville Headquarters. 

Request a Window Cling
Other Media Spotlights on Asheville's Autumnal Scene

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

Follow Our Progress
Facebook    LinkedIn    Email    Website