2013-2014 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 2013‒2014 progress reports here for sales, services, marketing, communications, sports marketing and administration/technology.
Letter from Chairman Bill Gant
Dear Friends of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Today there's no denying the economic impact of tourism in Wake County. For the past 27 years, the Greater Raleigh CVB (GRCVB) and its local partners have proven that the travel industries are a significant economic driver for our area by creating hospitality industry jobs and bringing new revenue into the economy from leisure and business travelers, conventions, festivals, sports and special events.
In 2013 our communities welcomed 13.26 million visitors, and those visitors directly spent a staggering $2.0 billion on their trips. The hospitality sector employs more than 22,000 people in Wake County alone, and they earn a payroll of more than $574 million.
In other measures, Wake County's 2013 hotel occupancy tax collections increased by 7.4 percent over 2012 and totaled more than $17.9 million. Prepared food and beverage (PFB) tax collections in 2013 were up 4.3 percent over 2012, totaling $21.1 million--the highest PFB tax collections ever on record. Also, the estimated direct economic impact of GRCVB-assisted conventions, meetings and sporting events held in Wake County reached $124 million, meaning that Wake County continued to enjoy at least a 25-to-1 return on investment from the inter-local tax dollars invested into GRCVB.
While numbers are impressive, equally impressive are the caliber of events on the leisure, sports and business side that Wake County hosted in the past year. Events like the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Second and Third Rounds, inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon & ½ Marathon, IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh, International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass week and Big Rock East help not only to bring in hundreds of thousands of participants, families, friends and spectators but also help to build the reputation of our area as a premier place to live, work, play, do business and visit.
The marketing momentum continues, and the 28 employees of GRCVB continue to be some of the best in the business. Each of the departments: administration, sales, services, communications, marketing and sports marketing exceeded goals and, through hard work, innovative ideas and a genuine love for tourism, they continue to position Greater Raleigh on a national level as a "can't miss" destination. As a testament to the quality of work that the Bureau's employees produce, GRCVB won numerous industry awards including recognition from the Destination Marketing Association of N.C., Destination Marketing Association International and Meetings & Conventions magazine as well as others.
Looking ahead into the 2014‒2015 fiscal year, GRCVB will carry out an in-depth brand tune-up, based on comprehensive research, which will help steer marketing and sales efforts for the next five years and beyond. As social media continue to be a demonstrated marketing platform with visitors, Bureau team members will diligently build upon the 17,000+ Facebook fans and 17,500+ Twitter followers who routinely engage on our social media platforms and receive the latest updates.
I have no doubt that 2014‒2015 will bring another year of great success. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the Wake Country Board of Commissioners, Raleigh City Council, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center, The Conference Table, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Advisory Board and all local hospitality sector and allied businesses for their continued support of the GRCVB's important mission.
2013‒2014 Chairman, GRCVB Board of Directors
Vice President of Operations—Full-Service Hotels, Concord Hospitality