Governor Cooper attends NC Tourism Conference in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The tourism industry is one of the most important to North Carolina and Governor Roy Cooper celebrated that during a statewide tourism conference being held here in the east.

During the Visit NC Tourism Conference in Greenville, Cooper highlighted all the attractions that bring in tourists.

“North Carolina…we are the place to be,” Cooper said. “There’s no doubt about it. We’re also the place to visit.”

Revenue being brought into the state was also a major topic.

“Tourism is a huge economic development tool so when you bring people from outside your community they come in and spend money,” Visit Greenville NC CEO Andrew Schmidt said.

From March 17th to 19th, tourism professionals from all over North Carolina will attend educational sessions, network, and discover opportunities to learn about the issues facing the travel industry.

“We’re learning about artificial intelligence and how we can use that in the industry to better things like analytics and be able to know what’s going on in the industry,” Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority Tracy Brown said.

According to Visit NC Executive Director Wit Tuttell, tourists spent more than $30 billion in the state during 2022. That made North Carolina the 5th most visited state in the country.

“For every dollar we spend trying to get a visitor to come here, they spend $310.00 in the state,” Tuttell said. ” So that’s $309 coming into the state for every visitor.”

A few years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic tourism was hit hard in North Carolina and beyond but now the focus is on providing the best experience for visitors.

“There were real severe economic consequences and a lot of job loss. And it’s taken us a few years to get back, but we’re now back at record levels from where we were, and we’ve just gotten back to the hiring levels where we were before,” Tuttell said.

Governor Cooper said North Carolina’s hospitality attracts tourists. After his term ends in November, he said he’ll continue to work to show everything North Carolina has to offer.