Encouraging Outdoor Stewardship with Outdoor NC 
Join the Outdoor NC Movement & Promote Responsible Recreation

As part of Explore Asheville's Strategic Imperative to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel, we proudly partner with Outdoor NC to promote resources that educate outdoor enthusiasts on responsible recreation. Join the Outdoor NC movement and follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principles to support the collective effort in protecting our shared outdoor spaces. Download the principles and other resources here to educate your visitors on responsible recreation. 

Learn more about the Outdoor NC Movement
Register Now for the Inaugural Explore Asheville Travel & Hospitality Earth Day Cleanup
Join Us in Cleaning Up Five Neighborhoods Across Asheville

Earth Day is around the corner, and we invite you and your organization to contribute to our destination’s stewardship by participating in the Explore Asheville Travel & Hospitality Earth Day Cleanup, with technical support from Asheville GreenWorks and RiverLink. Join us and your travel and hospitality colleagues April 22, 2–4:30 p.m., for a one-hour cleanup and post-cleanup social with local brews and light bites! 

Register for the Explore Asheville Travel & Hospitality Earth Day Cleanup
Phase I TPDF Grant Cycle Application Portal Opening April 15
The BCTDA Estimates More than $9.5 Million Available this Grant Cycle
Federally recognized non-profits and government organizations can submit applications for Phase I of the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF) starting April 15. The TPDF was created to financially support major tourism capital projects in Buncombe County through grants, loan guarantees, or pledges of debt service. Since 2001, the TPDF has provided more than $86 million through 64 investments in 41 community projects that aim to increase patronage of lodging properties and promote further economic development in our community.
The BCTDA will host an information session April 17, 3:30–4:30 p.m., at Explore Asheville's offices (27 College Place). More information on the TPDF grant process can be found here
Register for the TPDF Information Session
Last Chance to Nominate a Hero of Hospitality
Shining a Light on Front-Line Staff in Our Community

In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (May 19–25), Explore Asheville and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority will host an inaugural Heroes of Hospitality program May 20, at which front-line staff and volunteers in the travel and hospitality industry will be honored for their remarkable service.

Nominations close tomorrow, April 12, at 5 p.m. Take this opportunity to recognize your coworkers who are outstanding ambassadors of Asheville!

Nominate a Hero of Hospitality
Prepare for Spring Visitors with 2024 Visitor Guides

Ensure visitors have everything they need for their spring travel itinerary by restocking your 2024 Visitor Guides. Order by May 1 for free delivery to your business between May 13–17. Can't make this month's schedule? You can always pick up a box at the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Ave).

Volunteer & Vend at the 9th Annual Get in Gear Fest
Outdoor Industry Event Accepting Vendors, Volunteers, and Sponsorships

Celebrate the Outdoor Industry Hub of the East at the Outdoor Business Alliance’s (OBA) 9th Annual Get In Gear Fest, sponsored by Explore Asheville, May 4, 12–5 p.m. Get In Gear Fest features local and regional companies, gear demos, sales, music, food, and fun for the whole family.

Vendor applications are open to the public until April 26. OBA is looking for volunteers at various times from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. for two-hour shifts. Volunteers will receive an OBA hat, locally made by Lucky Crow, and a beverage ticket for their service. Sponsorship opportunities and general event info can be found at GetInGearFest.com.

Celebrating Culinary Excellence in Asheville Year After Year
Honoring James Beard Semifinalists William Dissen and Jason Sellers

Asheville’s culinary scene shines brightly as we celebrate 2024 James Beard Awards semifinalists Chef William Dissen of The Market Place and Chef Jason Sellers of Plant. These prestigious honors recognize exceptional chefs committed to equality, sustainability, and community.

Asheville's chefs shape, sustain, and elevate our food culture with consistent recognitions year after year. Rooted in Southern Appalachia’s self-sufficiency and resilience, our culinary scene defies stereotypes—embracing global flavors while honoring local traditions. 

Watch and read more about the roots and future of Asheville's cuisine
April's Recipients of Explore Asheville's Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund
Celebrate Asheville's Creative Spirit with Local Festivals & Events

The Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for events catering to residents and visitors, enhancing the quality of place and economic benefit for Buncombe County. Upcoming events include: 

Maker Faire Asheville | April 13 | This family friendly festival is a gathering of curious folks who enjoy learning and sharing their hobbies, experiments, and projects. It’s free to attend, but pre-registration is recommended.

Downtown After 5 | April 19 | Enjoy free live music, local makers, and food and drink at Asheville Downtown Association’s 36th annual Downtown After 5, presented by Prestige Subaru. This month's theme is psychedelic funk.

{Re}HAPPENING 12 | April 20 | This annual event combines art, fundraising, and community engagement to celebrate Black Mountain College’s legacy. Experience art installations, music, and performance projects by regional and national artists in an immersive and educational experience.

Does your organization have an event coming up this spring or summer? Keep us in the loop at news@exploreasheville.com and submit your events to the Explore Asheville Event Calendar.

If you need help submitting events, contact Partnership Coordinator Shelby Pearsall.

The monthly meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) will take place April 24 at 9 a.m. in the Board Room at the offices of Explore Asheville. All board meetings are open to the public, and the agenda will be posted 48 hours in advance. Following the meeting, all materials will be posted here.

Delivering Balanced Recovery & Sustainable Growth | Encouraging Safe & Responsible Travel |
Engaging & Inviting More Diverse Audiences | Promoting & Supporting Asheville's Creative Spirit

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