GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Tourism leaders from across the state are meeting in Greenville this week to focus on expanding North Carolina’s tourism industry.
The “Visit North Carolina 365” conference is being held at the Greenville Convention Center through Tuesday and will consist of many sessions and speakers.
Notably participants of the event will hear from North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland on Monday.
Wit Tuttell is the executive director of Visit North Carolina.
“Tourism spending is a 22 billion dollar a year industry here in North Carolina,” said Tuttell.
Tuttell said this conference can help our state economy grow.
“What we do at our office is try to bring people form outside of the state in, because what we’re trying to do is bring economic impact into the state,” said Tuttell.
The conference is hosted in a different city every year.
Tuttell said choosing Greenville for this year’s convention was an easy choice.
“Greenville is a perfect location for us, we have about 500 people coming, it’s the perfect size for that and it’s just neat to get tourism people to see what’s going on in Greenville,” said Tuttell.
Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau director Andrew Schmidt said hosting the event exposes tourism leaders to the city.
Schmidt said, “Greenville has grown an awful lot over the past several years and what we’re really doing with this conference is changing perceptions. We’ll have a lot of people who will be here for the first time really in 10 to 15 years.”
Schmidt said more tourism to Greenville can mean more money in your pocket.
“In the last fiscal year $219 million dollars was spent by tourist in Greenville and Pitt County and that saves local people money,” said Schmidt. “It saves money off their taxes. An average of $90 dollars in taxes was not paid because of the amount that tourism brought.”
Tuttell said this conference helps industry leaders get focused.
“We’re going to get everyone in the N.C. tourism industry to work on the same pace, to have the same message and go out there and extend that message as much as we can to bring more money to the state,” said Tuttell.
A pace Tuttell thinks can keep North Carolina at the top of the list for travel destinations.