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National Tourism Week celebrated locally

READ MORE: National Tourism Week celebrated locally
Each day, visitors from all over the country fly into ILM. This week they'll feel a little more welcome than usual. As part of the 26th National Tourism Week the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau will be giving out free snacks, drinks, and souvenirs to tourists. “We're just making everybody feel really welcome and really aware of tourism in our community,” said Mary Ann Toler of the Cape Fear Visitor Bureau. With travel and tourism among the state’s fastest growing industry, it makes sense to show some visitor appreciation. In New Hanover County alone tourism is responsible for pumping more than $425 million and 5,500 jobs into our economy, which makes many locals more than happy to roll out the welcome mat. “We get excited because people come from all over the world here and they come to see the history, they love to see the museums, and they love to go to the movie studios, people love to come and see just our beautiful historic city,” said Noni Boalt of the Cape Fear Visitor Bureau. Visitors have plenty of options when visiting the Wilmington area. “We're hoping to do some of the kayaking and see some of the salt marshes and things like that. Maybe go to the beach, haven't been to the beach yet this year,” said Jeff Stevens. With great access to transportation, even those visiting other travel destinations come through the Port City. “We come down the same time every year. We flew to Wilmington this year because it's more economical than flying to Myrtle,” said Bill Worgull. But when it's time to leave the reaction is usually the same. “We'd like to stay longer, but we've got to get back,” Stevens said. New Hanover County ranks eighth out of 100 North Carolina counties for tourist spending. The Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau said the industry saves county residents almost $200 in taxes each year.

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