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2012-2013 Annual Report

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Annual Report updates you on the Bureau’s progress toward increasing the area’s visitor and convention business. Review 2012-2013 progress reports for salesservicesmarketingcommunicationssports marketing and administration & marketing technology.

Letter from Chairman Ian Sauer

What an incredible year for tourism in Wake County! The numbers are undeniably impressive... our hospitality community welcomed 12.41 million visitors to our area in 2012, who generated $1.9 billion in direct spending. More than 22,000 people in our community are employed by the hospitality industries, earning a payroll of $574 million. Wake County continued its momentum of having a record fiscal year with hotel occupancy tax collections increasing by 6.7% over 2011-2012 to total more than $17 million, and prepared food and beverage collections in this fiscal year were up 6.4% over last, totaling nearly $21 million in revenue. Also, the direct economic impact of Greater Raleigh CVB-assisted convention, meeting and sporting events held in Wake County reached $116 million, meaning that Wake County continued to enjoy a 24-to-1 return on investment of the interlocal tax dollars invested in GRCVB.

GRCVB is a leader in enhancing our county's growth through visitor-related economic development. Through strategic partnerships with area corporations and businesses, educational institutions, government officials and individuals, we were able to continue to educate Wake County stakeholders and residents on the value, and relevancy, that the tourism sector plays in N.C.'s capital city area. Many members of the Bureau staff have been elected to leadership positions of local, regional and national industry organizations, continuing to raise awareness of our organization's critical mission. Not only have Bureau employees gained reputations as leaders in the industry, but also their work has won numerous industry awards including recognition from the Destination Marketing Association of N.C., Convention South magazine, hotwire.com and many others.

The GRCVB's 22-person staff in sales, services, communications, marketing and sports marketing all exceeded their goals, and through hard work and innovative ideas, they positively impacted Greater Raleigh's reputation on a national level as a premier leisure, sports and meeting destination. To further promote our destination to visitors, meeting planners, sports-events rights holders and media, the Bureau debuted its newly redesigned website, visitRaleigh.com, as well as a new mobile site. The design is centered around the Destination I.D. market segmentation, which encourages visitors to identify their travel personality type and plan future visits and visit activities around specific interests.

The Sales Department continued aggressive recruitment efforts on all sizes of meetings business and continued to play a major role in the planning of the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass convention, which will be held in Raleigh for the next three years and will welcome 16,000 fans, artists and industry executives to our area. The Bureau's Sports Marketing Department changed its national identity to the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and has already earned multiple "wins" including the successful hosting of the area's first IRONMAN 70.3 and the announcement of the Rock ‘n' Roll Raleigh Marathon and Half Marathon to be held in Apr. 2014. Our Services Department assisted 505 groups, to not only help in booking return business but also in spreading positive word-of-mouth so crucial to destination marketing. The Communications Department succeeded in gaining major national exposure through articles in publications like TheNew York Times and Southern Living.

Looking ahead, GRCVB and its Board of Directors will undergo an in-depth strategic planning process that will allow us to better define our mission, identify new or revised target audiences, prioritize marketing initiatives and meet new and updated goals.

2013-2014 is destined to become a year of more successes, and the Board, under the direction of incoming chairman Phil Zachary, looks forward to sharing those successes with you. On a personal note, it has been my pleasure to work with the staff of GRCVB, one of the hardest working groups of hospitality professionals in the business, and on behalf of the 2012-2013 Board of Directors, which I had the privilege to lead, I would like to thank the Wake County Board of Commissioners, Raleigh City Council, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center, The Conference Table, the Wake County Hospitality Alliance and all local hospitality sector and allied businesses for their continued support of GRCVB's mission.

IAN W.G. SAUER

2012-2013 Chairman, GRCVB Board of Directors
Vice President of Operations, Summit Hospitality Group, Ltd.