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Travel is a leading American industry that’s more than just fun. In fact, travel and tourism is one of the country’s leading industries — it impacts the economies of the nation, the state and here in Cumberland County. May 4-12, we recognize the impact of this industry with National Travel & Tourism Week, a national celebration from the U.S. Travel Association that champions the value of travel. The 2013 theme for National Travel & Tourism Week is “Travel Effect.”

Nationwide, travel supports 14.6 million jobs with a $200.9 billion payroll. U.S. travelers generate $2 trillion in economic impact that contributes $128.8 billion in tax revenues for federal, state and local governments. In fact, without travel and tourism’s contribution to the tax base, each household would be taxed an additional $1,060 per year.

In 2011, domestic visitors spent $18.4 million across North Carolina, generating $2.8 billion in tax receipts. This is an 8 percent increase from the previous year and a record high spending fi gure. North Carolina tourism supports 187,900 jobs for North Carolina residents and contributes $4.18 billion to the state’s payroll.

Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, Cumberland County generates the eighth highest economic impact from domestic tourism. In 2011, the industry generated $450.11 million in expenditures and $33.96 in state and local tax revenues. This represents a $104.53 tax savings to each county resident. Additionally, Cumberland County’s tourism industry employs 4,200 people with a payroll of $80.97 million. Tourism is Cumberland County’s second largest industry.

Marketing the community

The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau works to maximize the economic impact of travel and tourism in Cumberland County. That figure is steadily rising. From 2001 to 2011, domestic tourism expenditures grew 83 percent from $245.99 million to the present fi gure of $450.11 million.

The bureau is funded through occupancy taxes collected from overnight visitors at Cumberland County hotels and administered by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA). This means that no local taxpayer money is used for the promotion of travel and tourism. (The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and The Crown Center also receive a portion of occupancy tax collections.)

You might wonder how the FACVB markets the community to visitors. Each year, we produce a detailed program of work that outlines the program for the coming year. All marketing decisions are research-based, allowing us to pinpoint the wants and needs of the visitor.

Some tactics/projects on the plan include:

• Attending trade shows to secure leads for meeting planner, group tour operator and sports tournament business.

• Managing and maintaining a comprehensive website that promotes the entire Cumberland County travel industry

• Public relations efforts to secure positive publicity on Cumberland County as a travel destination. These efforts may include social media contests, writer visits, press releases, event listing in trade and Web publications and outreach to targeted journalists.

• Development of a Destination Guide to cover all travel markets

• Targeted advertisement with lead generation for continued marketing

The FACVB continues to maximize the impact of travel and tourism on our economy by providing programs and services for visitors to Cumberland County. We always keep an eye on the visitor — and work to fulfi ll their needs.

BECAUSE THE VISITOR

Because the visitor has a need, we have a job to do.

Because the visitor has a choice, we must be the better choice.

Because the visitor has sensibilities ... we must be considerate.

Because the visitor has an urgency, we must be quick.

Because the visitor has high expectations, we must excel.

Because the visitor has influence, we have hope of more visitors. Because of the visitor, we exist.

- Karl Yena Yena & Associates

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