Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Most popular N.C. tourism spots?

It's high summer in this old state and the last few weeks of summer vacation for many families before school resumes in late August. Even with the high price of gas, a lot of folks wouldn't miss the chance for some time at the beach or the cool breezes of the N.C. mountains.
What would you say are the most popular counties for tourism? While I'd have to rank my favorites as Hyde and Carteret in the East and Buncombe and Swain in the West, they aren't among the leaders. The urban Piedmont counties of Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford are -- at least on dollars brought in from tourists during 2007.
Here's an excerpt from the Commerce Department's latest compilation reporting $17.1 billion in tourism revenue:
• Mecklenburg County led all North Carolina counties in tourism revenue, receiving more than $3.4 billion in domestic travelers’ expenditures. Wake County ranked second with nearly $1.5 billion, followed by Guilford County with close to $1.1 billion.
• 33 counties each received more than $100 million in domestic travelers’ expenditures in 2007.
• 33 counties reported 1,000 or more jobs directly supported by domestic travelers during 2007.
• Nash County had the largest percentage increase in visitor spending, a 12.7 percent gain or $25 million. Of the state’s larger tourism destinations, Wake County showed the greatest increase, 10.7 percent or $143 million.

What's your favorite N.C. place to vacation, and why?

26 comments:

chupacabra said...

I’d be curious to know how they determined tourism dollars. I just don’t buy that people are coming to Charlotte as a vacation destination.

As for the best vacation destination, it depends on my mood and the season. If I want mountains I head to the Watauga and Avery area. If I want to go to the beach and have the time I go to Ocracoke. If I want to go to the beach and don’t have the time I go to Sunset Beach.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR (millions a year come -races, shops, historic), NFL, NBA, Whitewater center, ACC tourny (basketball this year, football next year), CIAA tourney, and more.

chupacabra said...

Ah that's it. Somehow I wasn't thinking of specific events in regard to tourism but that does make sense.

Maybe my issue is that when I think of vacation I think of sweet blessed escapism.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you there. I was also thinking why would anyone come to Charlotte for a vacation???
But NASCAR does pull them in.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of folks from rural areas visit Charlotte just to get a taste of the urban life every now and then.

Anonymous said...

Aside from all the sporting events (NASCAR, NFL, NBA, Hockey, Baseball, CIAA Tourney) Charlotte draws about 700,000 concert goers per year i.e. Time Warner Arena, Verzion Ampitheater, Ovens Auditorium, etc.

Also, Charlotte has about 200,000 visitors per year at the convention center.

So, it's all here, so we reap the benefits of them spending money.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is mostly Iredell (Mooresville) and Cabarrus Counties (Concord)?? Atleast until the Hall of Fame is built.

Anonymous said...

How about the Biltmore House?

Anonymous said...

The Yadkin Valley Region is my favorite. Mountains to hike, wine to drink, small towns...

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised for NASCAR - although this is a bit dated, when my dad was a waiter at a steakhouse in charlotte, raceweek(s) were good money for them - even with Lowes being in Cabarrus (and Concord Mills), the hotels and establishments are down here, and you have to have somewhere to stay. Don't forget Speed Street and people getting together in general who don't have tickets to watch.

Anonymous said...

From my understanding of NC tourism, Concord Mills Mall has been the number one tourist destination in the state. At least, that was what I remember as being reported number one the past few years. Even though it's in Concord, the hotel/motel industry has not had the number of rooms to offer as has nearby Charlotte, although they are "catching up".

Anonymous said...

When I think of a vacation, I think of taking a week or a few days off to spend somewhere else. Not a one-time event or just to visit one attraction. Charlotte needs something else besides sports venues and malls! How about an aquarium, or a unique museum, or more festivals?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has the Discovery Place.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has the Discovery Place.

Lynn Wilson, Hurdle Mills, NC said...

Are there any statistics showing how many visitors a place receives ... that aren't related to how many dollars are spent? I love to visit the Eno River in Durham but I never spend money there. My grandchildren and I loved camping at Stone Mtn and hiking up Widows Creek after we chilled on the cascade there. We especially enjoyed going to Discovery Place because we got there on the train. I don't especially enjoy Kerr Lake ... unless I arrive by bicycle.

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