Asheville is a beautiful place to live, work, and visit, and Explore Asheville is committed to doing its part to protect it. As part of our Strategic Imperative to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel, we strive to influence visitors to respect, protect, and preserve our natural, cultural, and human resources. In honor of Earth Month, we've created two new community guides, which recognize some of our local partners who have embraced sustainability in Buncombe County. We also invite you to participate in the Leave No Trace campaign as it takes all of us to make an impact. 

Asheville's Sustainable Shopping Guide
Check Our List of Enviro-Conscience Experiences, Services, and Crafts

The inescapable beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a constant reminder of the importance of sustainability in Asheville, particularly when it comes to shopping. Asheville offers a multitude of environmentally conscience experiences: from locally crafted hammocks and handmade pottery to award-winning restaurants that source locally grown ingredients. As part of our efforts to encourage responsible travel, we've created a guide to sustainable shopping for Asheville. Think you should be added to the guide? Let us know!

Celebrate National Volunteer Week
Give Back Through Local Cleanups and Encouraging Voluntourism

Nestled within Earth Month, National Volunteer Week celebrates those who seize opportunities to perform meaningful acts of service. Here are ways that everyone can participate:

🌎 Voluntourism - We've made it easier than ever for visiting groups to make a positive difference in our community while creating lasting memories. We've compiled a list of service projects and donation opportunities for meeting planners to use as they plan their itineraries. Do you have a project to add to the list? Let us know!

🌎 Join a Local Cleanup - Find a volunteer day to trim trees, plant flowers, sweep streets or pick up litter throughout the month. Join the County Parks & Rec's Earth Day Cleanup, pitch in at one of the City's Spring Sweeps, support one of West Asheville Business Association's (WABA) Cleanup Days, or register your own DIY Cleanup with GreenWorks

The City of Asheville Wants Your Input

The Asheville City Council is considering a local ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic bags and polystyrene takeout containers. Businesses owners and residents within the city limits of Asheville are encouraged to take the survey until April 30, 2023. 


National Travel and Tourism Week is Next Month
May 7-13, 2023, Marks the 40th Anniversary of #NTTW   

Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) celebrates the national travel community and its critical role in powering economies, communities, and connections. By moving #TravelForward, we demonstrate our industry’s importance. 

To celebrate, we will host an open house on May 9 from 3–6 pm at the Explore Asheville office. Be on the lookout for invites hitting your inbox later this week!

We're Now Accepting Phase I TPDF Grant Cycle Applications
The BCTDA Estimates More than $8 Million Available this Grant Cycle

Federally recognized non-profit and government organizations may now submit applications through the online portal until Wednesday, May 17. The Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF) was created to provide financial assistance through grants, loan guarantees, or pledges of debt service to major tourism capital projects that will increase patronage of lodging properties and further economic development in Buncombe County.

More information on the TPDF grant process, evaluation criteria, and FAQs can be found in the Program Guidelines.

    Warm Welcome to Our New Partners
     We are Delighted to Shine a Light on Your Creativity


Savor the Season at Local Festivals and Cultural Events  
This Month's Recipients of Explore Asheville's Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund

The Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for events that serve both the residents of Buncombe County and the visitors who travel to the Asheville area. Upcoming events include:

In addition to the Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund, the BCTDA offers Event Sponsorships to Buncombe County-based nonprofits on a quarterly basis. We are accepting the next round of applications for review until Monday, May 15.

The regular monthly meeting of Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) will take place in the board room of the Explore Asheville office beginning at 9 am, Wednesday, April 26. All board meetings are open to the public, and the agenda will be posted 48 hours in advance. Following the meeting, documents, and presentations 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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