Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Quick hits: Luring tourists and wine drinkers

Tourist sites aim to attract visitors from the Southeast
"With gas prices holding at a record $4 a gallon nationwide, tourism officials are touting Asheville as only a tank full of gas away for travelers from Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte and other Southeastern markets," writes the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"Local businesses are feeling the pinch from record gas prices and the sluggish economy, with fewer travelers staying at their hotels, eating in their restaurants, shopping at their stores and visiting their attractions this spring.

"These businesses’ leaders crowded the boardroom of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday to brainstorm ways to bring more travelers to town over the summer.

" 'We want to see what we can do to get those people in those crucial drive markets thinking Asheville at the top of their minds when they do travel,' said Kelly Miller, executive director of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. ..."

Study profiles visitors to N.C. wineries
"In North Carolina's wine country, visitors tend to be middle-aged, highly educated and have higher than average incomes," says the Winston-Salem Journal.

"According to a survey released last week by the N.C. Wine and Grape Council, they also like to spend money at wineries, with purchases averaging $176 per travel party. ...

"The report is the first of its kind for the state's wine industry.

"North Carolina has more than 70 wineries in 31 counties, many of them in the Yadkin Valley. And wineries take in an estimated $48.2 million a year in sales. But for so long, state officials haven't known who is buying all of that wine.

" 'This is a really big step for us. We're really finding out who we are talking to,' said Margo Knight Metzger, the executive director of the N.C. Wine and Grape Council. 'It's just as your marketing gets more sophisticated, as your budget increases, you want to make sure every dollar is spent in the best way possible.' ..."

No comments: