Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick hits: N.C. visitors like to spend money, N.C. residents do not

N.C. visitors spent a record amount in 2007
"North Carolina visitors spent a record amount in 2007 – more than $16.5 billion – Gov. Mike Easley announced Monday."

"That was an increase of 7.2 percent from 2006 when visitors spent $15.4 billion," according to WRAL.com.

"Employment in the travel and tourism industry for 2007 also saw an increase of 2 percent compared with the previous year.

" 'From skiing in the winter to an endless variety of summer vacation opportunities, the many wonderful attractions in North Carolina make our state one of the nation’s top travel destinations,' Easley said in a press release. 'Our aggressive efforts to promote tourism are paying off in good jobs and more recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.' ..."

Poll finds support for rail, transit, wider roads
"North Carolinians overwhelmingly say improving public transportation and widening roads are the best ways to deal with traffic congestion, according to a new poll. But they don't like the idea of highway tolls to pay for them," says the N&O.

"The poll, released today by Elon University, found 82 percent support for widening roads and improving public transportation to address traffic congestion. Majorities also favored building more roads (72 percent), increasing park-and-ride lots (73 percent) and adding carpool or high occupancy vehicle lanes (52 percent).

"The poll found strong support for rail systems, including commuter rail in urban areas (72 percent), high-speed trains between the state's largest cities (70 percent) and regional rail (64 percent).

"To pay for regional rail, 67 percent supported extra fees. To pay for work on bridges and roads and other transportation projects, 66 percent supported a $2 billion statewide bond issue. ..."

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