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In This Issue | November 8, 2021
Asheville Live on National TV This Weekend | Take the Pledge, Win a Kayak | Wednesday: Partner Salon | Leave No Trace Toolkit | Visitor Guide Orders | Event Calendar | New Faces at Explore Asheville | Holiday Gift Guide | Annual Report | Tourism Community Update | Festivals & Cultural Events Fund


Asheville Championship

Asheville Live on National TV This Weekend
Explore Asheville is a lead sponsor of college basketball's newest test for top programs looking to set the tone for the season.

The inaugural Asheville Championship is this weekend at Harrah’s Cherokee Center–Asheville, airing on the ESPN family of networks on Friday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 14 and featuring South Carolina, Minnesota, Western Kentucky and Princeton. With Explore Asheville as a lead sponsor, Asheville will get exposure through TV spots, video segments, signage and even the integration of our Asheville branding into the event logo.

Get Tickets & Info!

Take the Pledge, Win a Kayak

A raffle for a locally manufactured LiquidLogic whitewater kayak is part of the promotion for the Asheville Championship – and not only that, but it's also for a good cause! Join the Pledge for the Wild and help protect the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of Asheville's most iconic natural landmarks. Through Nov. 21, participants who donate to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation through the Pledge for the Wild will be entered into a raffle to win an Asheville Championship whitewater kayak.

Enter Raffle for Kayak Giveaway


Space is still available for Explore Asheville's 'Packaging Matchmaker' Partner Salon on Wednesday morning: Register now!

A "package" is a collaboration between tourism partners that includes an overnight stay. And the Packages & Deals section of is one of the most visited pages on the website. All the more reason to join us for our in-person "Packaging Matchmaker" Partner Salon at the Explore Asheville offices on Wednesday Nov. 10, 8:30–10 a.m. Get answers on how to create a package and connect with fellow tourism colleagues interested in collaborating. Join us for breakfast treats from Chill Cereal Bar at 8:30; program starts at 9.

Get Info & Register Now!

Help educate visitors on enjoying the outdoors responsibly:
Leave No Trace toolkit now available for download

As part of Explore Asheville’s commitment to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel, we’ve teamed up with VisitNC to participate in a statewide campaign to promote the principles of Leave No Trace. Partners can join with us in educating visitors about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly – simply download the new Leave No Trace toolkit, which includes social media assets, graphics and sample messaging.

Leave No Trace Toolkit for Partners

Ready for holiday visitors? Order Official Asheville Visitor Guides by Nov. 11 for free delivery this month

The monthly deadline to stock up on Official Asheville Visitor Guides is this week. Place your order by Nov. 11 at 5 p.m.; orders received after that date will be processed for delivery next month. Run out of guides between deliveries? Pick up a case at the Asheville Visitors Center at 36 Montford Ave.

Order Free Visitor Guides


  • WHAT: "Packaging Matchmaker" Partner Salon: Information & inspiration for collaborating to create compelling packages for guests
  • WHEN: 8:30–10 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Register here
  • WHAT: Deadline for quarterly submissions from local nonprofits to Buncombe County TDA for sponsorship of professional & community development ops
  • WHEN: Accepted on rolling basis; reviewed quarterly
  • MORE INFO: Details & application here
  • WHAT: Monthly meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, held virtually via Zoom webinar
  • WHEN: 9–11 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Registration & agenda to come here
  • SAVE THE DATE! Annual Explore Asheville Holiday Party
  • WHEN: 4:30–6:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Center for Craft
  • MORE INFO: Watch for details!


Welcome new Explore Asheville team members!

Please join us in welcoming new members to the Explore Asheville team. Pictured, from left: Khal Khoury, Group Sales & Services Coordinator; Michael Poandl, PR Manager; Sha'Linda Pruitt, PR Coordinator; and Julia Simpson, Administrative Assistant. Not pictured but joining us later this month will be Crystal Sherriff, Community Engagement Manager. Read more about each on our CVB Facebook page and save the date for our annual tourism community get-together – the most-anticipated networking event of the year, the Explore Asheville Holiday Party, Dec. 8 – where you can meet all five of them in person!

Support local partners: The Handmade Holiday Gift Guide is now online!

The digital 2021 Explore Asheville Handmade Holiday Gift Guide features locally made products from more than 80 of Asheville’s top artists, makers and craftspeople. The guide is available through December. Shop now and support local community partners!

Shop the Handmade Holiday Gift Guide

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide Categories:
Handcrafted Wares | Artisan Food & Beverages | Outdoors & Wellness | Art & Craft

BCTDA Annual Report: On the road to recovery, thanks to community fortitude, resilience, innovation & determination

After one of the most challenging years on record, our community is beginning to thrive again. We’re on the road to recovery and charting a new course for travel and tourism based on broader community goals. Get a quick review of the fiscal year that ended in June 2021, plus a look ahead in the Buncombe County TDA's annual report.

Download BCTDA Annual Report


Check out the TOURISM COMMUNITY UPDATE: Highlights of Buncombe County TDA Meetings
October's meeting included a marketing update on safe and responsible travel and a welcome to two new board members and the new superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway – plus, a presentation on Buncombe County's Comprehensive Plan. Check it out!

Q: I heard that 26 local festivals and cultural events got grant money from Explore Asheville. What got funded and how do you apply? A: Check out info and the list of recipients here!

With holidays practically here, it's time to check the images on your listing. High-quality, high-res images can lead to more click-throughs. Photos should be at least 640px by 480px.

Each month, Explore Asheville generates a statistical report of our output, providing a snapshot of the local tourism economy month-to-month. Check out the latest Destination Dashboard.

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