2016-2017 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 2016-2017 progress reports here for sales, services, marketing and communications, public relations, sports marketing and administration and marketing technology. Review the Bureau's business plan online for a summary of strategies and objectives for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Letter from Chairman Jim Beley

Dear Partner in Wake County Hospitality and Tourism,

The Greater Raleigh CVB's 2016-2017 fiscal year closed with news of record-breaking visitation and visitor spending in Raleigh and Wake County. The county had welcomed 15.6 million visitors in the 2016 calendar year, an annual increase of 3.5 percent. These visitors also spent $2.4 billion on trips here, an increase of 4.2 percent over 2015.

Despite nearly a year of uncertain indicators as a result of concerns expressed over N.C.'s House Bill 2 becoming law, the travel bans and tourism boycotts (some of which continue today), Wake County's travel and tourism industries are supporting more jobs and workers and generating more state and local tax revenues than ever before.

In 2016, total tax revenues generated by Raleigh area tourism reached an all-time high of $473.4 million; this includes $242 million received at the state and local levels, which translates into a lessening of the average Wake County resident's tax burden by $663 per household.

The $52 million raised by Wake County's Lodging and Prepared Food and Beverage Taxes in 2016-2017 especially helps to pay for amenities enjoyed by county residents (including the PNC Arena, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh Convention Center and WakeMed Soccer Park). This is how tourism benefits our area and why investments made in destination marketing pay off.

CVB president and CEO Denny Edwards and his staff should again be applauded for another year of stellar destination marketing and sales efforts on behalf of Wake County. The CVB's Sales Department and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance exceeded annual performance goals in 2016-2017 and together produced 327 group definite bookings.

The Marketing and Communications Department attracted 2.36 million sessions to the official tourism websites last year, a record high. The reorganized Public Relations Department pitched Raleigh area story ideas to more than 253 journalists domestically as well as in Canada, the U.K. and France.

These are but a few examples of the measurable performance and other tourism economic development updates shared by CVB staff within this online Annual Report. Now underway and steered by the CVB's Administration Department is a first-of-its-kind, 13-month Destination Strategic Planning Project for Raleigh and Wake County.

The Destination Strategic Plan, when complete, will serve as a roadmap to another 10 years of sustainable growth and development for Raleigh and Wake County's visitor economy-to a time not far away when we are envisioned to welcome more than 19.5 million visitors each year.

What an auspicious time to lead the CVB Board of Directors, working with Bureau leadership on completing this significant planning project. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank the Wake County Board of Commissioners, Raleigh City Council, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center, The Conference Table, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Advisory Board, all area town officials and all local hospitality businesses for their continued support of the Greater Raleigh CVB's important mission.

Please review the many 2016-2017 accomplishments of the CVB's award-winning staff on subsequent Annual Report pages.

Best regards,

Jim Beley, Chairman
Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors
General Manager, The Umstead Hotel and Spa