Today’s board meeting was held at the North Carolina Arboretum, a regional attraction that has received $1.65 million in Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF) investments and Festival & Cultural Events (F&CE) Support Fund grants from the authority over the years. TPDF projects are powered by visitors who stay overnight in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and vacation rentals throughout Buncombe County. We shared a recent Visit NC statewide report, stating visitors contributed a record-breaking $2.88 billion in direct spending in Buncombe County businesses in 2022, ranking Asheville third in visitor expenditures across the state for a second year in a row.
This demonstrates the value and quality of overnight visits to our community in several ways:
- While overnight visitors make up just 37% of visitor volume, they contribute 73% of total visitor spending to support area businesses.
- While the lodging tax paid by visitors staying in hotels, vacation rentals and B&Bs shoulders 100% of the destination marketing and tourism-related community capital project funds, the vast majority of visitor spending (69%) is spent outside of lodging businesses with retail, restaurants, tour providers, entertainment venues and transportation partners.
Last night, we hosted the first of two Travel & Hospitality Nights at McCormick Field dedicated to celebrating and honoring those who are the ambassadors of our community’s creative spirit. These industry appreciation nights are made possible through a $23 million partnership between the Tourists Baseball Club, the City of Asheville, and the BCTDA. Tonight's game and celebration has been postponed to tomorrow, August 31. We hope you'll join us as we cheer for the Tourists!
The board recognized Andrew Celwyn for his six years of active service. In September 2017, he was appointed by the City of Asheville to represent a tourism-related business as the owner of Herbiary in downtown Asheville. Thank you for your voice and service, Andrew!
We hope to see you all on Sept. 19 at the 2023 BCTDA Annual Meeting!