Tourism in Greenville to broaden appeal using nature’s own

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Tonight tourism leaders presented their budget for the next year on the heels of National Travel & Tourism Week.

Tourism brought nearly 219 million dollars to Greenville in 2015 and tonight a plan was set worth that would take tourism in the east in a new direction

Kelsey Curtin is the owner of Knee Deep Adventures in Greenville.

Curtis said, “We’re seeing folks come to Greenville from Jacksonville, Cary and New Bern, just to come out here and paddle the Tar River.”

For Curtis outdoor activities are a way of life.

She said Greenville’s features are unique.

“Tons of wildlife to see you know we’ve got a little bit of flat water little bit of swamp land,” said Curtis. “We’ve got some pretty good sand bars that people like to stop and hang out on so our river has something to offer pretty much everyone”

It’s those traits that the Greenville Pitt County tourism leaders aim to harness.

Andrew Schmidt is the executive director of Greenville’s Convention & Vistors Bureau.

Schmidt said, “We want to look at getting people out on the river whether their kayaking or canoeing or boating. Having them to be able to not only enjoy the river but be able to possibly dock here at the town commons maybe sometime in the future and then come in and eat in our restaurants.”

Schmidt proposed a budget to city council Thursday night that he says would make tourism well-rounded for the east.

“Eastern North Carolina has a lot of nature a lot of wonderful outdoor assets birding trails so there’s going to be things you see here that you can’t see in some of the bigger cities and we want to expose that,” said Schmidt.

Curtis said one thing that has to change is the image of the Tar River.

“A lot of people see the river and they automatically think about the different floods and stuff we’ve had over the years,” said Curtis. “I get a lot of questions, ‘Why is the river brown?’ So I think having some more advertisements and more education on our river.”

She’s glad to hear Greenville is opening up to the outdoors

“I think it could really do big things as far as bringing new and different things into town,” said Curtis.

Curtis said one thing she hopes to see more river access points in the future.

She said it would allow for more options for those looking to kayak, tube, or paddle board down the river.

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