NC welcome centers help celebrate tourism!

Yesterday began the kick-off of travel and tourism celebrations across North Carolina, as we stop to appreciate the impact tourism has on our state and local economies. Today is the official state Tour and Travel Day, with all day events in downtown Raleigh. Welcome centers across the state plan to have food and beverages and all day events May 13-15. Stop by one near you (see below)!

From CarolinaNewsWire:

North Carolina Celebrates Tourism�s Impact With Tour and Travel Day and National Tour and Travel Week

RALEIGH, N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue will proclaim Tuesday, May 12, 2009 as Tour and Travel Day celebrating travel and tourism as a major state industry that is vital to the economic stability and growth of North Carolina. Tour and Travel Day is celebrated as part of National Tour and Travel Week.

A full-day of events is scheduled in Raleigh on May 12 and at North Carolina State Welcome Centers throughout the state May 11-15 to celebrate North Carolina�s tourism industry and to create better awareness of the industry�s contribution to North Carolina�s economy.

As part of Tour and Travel Day in Raleigh, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority presents a Pit Crew Challenge with state legislators as well as NASCAR displays and activities between the N.C. Museums of History and Natural Sciences. At noon, state legislators will face off in a House vs. Senate Pit Crew Challenge to see which team is faster at changing the tires on a real NASCAR race car.

Also included in Tourism Day, organizations from around the state will have informational booths located in the N.C. Legislative Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The N.C. Travel Industry Association (NCTIA) is coordinating exhibit booths that provide an opportunity for lawmakers to meet tourism industry officials and learn about the positive impact of the industry.

2009 Travel and Tourism Day
Welcome Center Celebrations

I-26 East, Polk County 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I-77 North, Surry County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

I-95 North, Northampton County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

I-26 West, Madison County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I-77 South, Mecklenburg County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I-85 South, Cleveland County 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I-85 North, Warren County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I-95 South, Robeson County 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Tourism Facts:
  • Travel in North Carolina generated more than $16.5 billion in tourism-related expenditures in 2007. Figures for 2008 will be released at the event.
  • The tourism industry directly employs more than 190,000 North Carolinians with a payroll of $4.2 billion.
  • Tourism in North Carolina generates more than $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.
  • Visitor spending in North Carolina has increased 27.3 percent while state and local tax revenue is up 20.7 percent over the last five years.
National Travel Facts

Travel and tourism is one of America�s largest industries, with $740 billion in direct travel expenditures.

National Tour and Travel Week is an annual event commemorated by states, cities and organizations across the nation. National Tour and Travel Week was first established by Congress in 1983 to increase awareness of the travel and tourism industry's economic, social, and cultural contributions to the United States. The public knows about tourism�s direct impact on businesses like attractions, hotels and restaurants. But less well known is the indirect economic impact of tourism on the businesses that keep attractions, hotels and restaurants running�businesses such as hardware stores, carpet and window distributors and manufacturers, plumbing and construction companies. When tourists come to North Carolina, businesses and citizens win.

For more information on events at North Carolina Welcome Centers throughout the state, go to

Media Contact:
Wit Tuttell, NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development
(919) 733-7420,