Tourists bring in $20 billion to state’s pocket each year

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Experts say visitors spend at least $24 billion in our state every year. Tourism brought in over $580 million to Wilmington in 2017 and employed 6,800 people in the community.

More than 500 tourism industry leaders from across the state met in Wilmington for the annual Visit North Carolina 365 tourism conference. Each year this event provides sessions to help professionals grow their businesses.

“We hold it each year to hear trends, to hear marketing opportunities and also to have our keynote speakers to come in give us more motivation and just tips on how to better do business among one another,” CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism and Development Authority Kim Hufham said.

Visit North Carolina reports one in every 11 jobs is related to tourism.

The annual statewide conference teaches industry leaders successful marketing, communication and social media tools.

Wilmington is one of the leading tourists attractions in the state.

“What we see is that people are looking for authentic experiences and Wilmington offers that in such a great way with the historic district, the beaches and the great unique film story that has been here,” Visit North Carolina Director Wit Tuttell said. “This is the only place in the world that you can see ‘One Tree Hill’ shot so people want to see that. I think Wilmington does a great job of promoting that.”

Tuttell says social media has recently been a driver in keeping the tourism industry rolling.

Categories: Local, New Hanover