State conference looks at link between film and tourism industries

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Submitted: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:44pm
Updated: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 12:22pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tourism is a driving force for North Carolina's economy, and the movie and TV industry is helping fuel that economic engine.

As leaders from across the state meet in Wilmington this week at the Governor's Conference on Tourism, they're talking about how the two forces work together.

"It not only brings people to see us to come as tourists, but it gives us the opportunity to create additional films as well, because when people see the kind of settings that can be created here they want to come do that, and we know, too, folks that come film here sometimes live here, stay here, choose to make their home here. it's easy to see why right?" NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said.

Decker says films attract people, because we are an entertainment society. She says it is important this industry continues to grow.

"This is wonderfully important to North Carolina's economy," Decker said. "Last year over $358 million in revenue dollars, 20,000-plus jobs in North Carolina, 200,000 jobs in North Carolina related to tourism. It's very important to us."

Monday the Governor's Conference on Tourism honored three North Carolinians for their contributions to the growth and success of North Carolina's tourism industry. Among them, was Wilmington's own Bill Vassar, the head of Screen Gems Studios. He says movies like "Safe Haven" are proof of the link between Hollywood East and tourism.

"The story takes place in Southport. They talk about Southport all the way through it," Vassar said. "People come to Southport because they want to touch, feel, be apart of 'Safe Haven.'"

Also added to the Winner's Circle today along with Vassar was Mikie Wall, Vice President of Sales and Services for the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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3 Comments on "State conference looks at link between film and tourism industries"

Frustrated Taxpayer
2015 years 8 months ago

The NC Tourism folks stayed on Bald Head Island in a multi-million dollar property while they attended this conference….wonder how much that cost the taxpayers? Wonder if their spouses traveled with them? This is where our money goes and why we don’t have enough for education and roads….way to go McCrory!

2015 years 8 months ago

The scoundrels.
Touting tourism while screwing the basis for the CC funds.
Oh the inhumanity.
Staying on Bald Head?
Instead of the Hilton?

Have they no conscience?


2015 years 8 months ago

so our officials think people say “oh, because i live in raliegh, or charlotte, or new york, or atlanta, i heard how amazing little ol wilmywoods movies are so i think ill plan a trip for that!” for that to even happen… we need to make good movies, not one tree hill..i wish that our officials would really look at what north carolina is today and hopefully, will start to cry, because of how literally disgusting, rascist, uneducated, and uncultured our society is in NC and especially in Wilmington, where the only things to do are shop, eat, then get fat, and die, although in between all that, you might get some condesending looks from rednecks wherever you go, and maybe even pick up a beautiful painting of a seashell!! WOOOO WILMINGTON!!!