2017-2018 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 2017-2018 progress reports here for sales, services, marketing and communications, public relations and international tourism, sports marketing and administration and marketing technology. Review the Bureau's business plan online for a summary of strategies and objectives for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Letter from Chairman Jim Beley

Dear Partner in Wake County Hospitality and Tourism,

As the Greater Raleigh CVB’s 2017-2018 fiscal year drew to its close, countywide measures of visitor-related economic development stood at all-time highs. Our county had welcomed 16.45 million visitors in the 2017 calendar year, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2016. These visitors also spent $2.5 billion on their trips here, a 4.0-percent increase year-over-year.

According to the CVB’s annually commissioned research, Wake County’s travel and tourism industries are also supporting more jobs and workers and generating more state and local tax revenues than ever before. In 2017, total tax revenues generated by Raleigh area tourism reached an all-time high of $489.4 million; this includes $250 million received at the state and local levels, which translates into a reduction of the average Wake County household’s tax burden by $671 last year.

In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Wake County’s Lodging and Prepared Food and Beverage Taxes (interlocal tourism-related taxes) similarly grew to record heights, totaling $55.48 million. In addition to the portion reinvested by our CVB into destination sales and marketing, these proceeds help pay for amenities (most recently including Ting Park and the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts) that draw area day-trippers and overnight visitors while being enjoyed by county residents.

Throughout this fiscal year, the CVB’s Administration has worked with Jones Lange LaSalle’s (JLL’s) Hotels and Hospitality Group on the research process for Wake County’s first-ever Destination Strategic Plan (DSP), preparing this comprehensive road map to guide the CVB and all of our county’s municipal stakeholders to “Destination 2028”—what our tourism efforts countywide should look like 10 years from now.

By 2028, we are envisioned to welcome more than 21.7 million visitors annually. Getting there successfully, while providing the world-class visitor services and types of tourism amenities we have become known for, will require newly researched strategies to be implemented not only by our CVB’s Board of Directors and staff but also by the many partners who have supported Wake County’s tourism growth over the past 30+ years.

On behalf of the board, I would like to thank these key partners—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, all local hospitality businesses as well as a newly formed Blue Ribbon Task Force of community leaders invested in DSP implementation—for their strengthened support of the CVB’s important mission during the years ahead. Special thanks to JLL for its assistance conducting this 13-month project, with the strategic plan’s recommendations to be outlined at our 2018 Annual Meeting on Aug. 16.

Greater Raleigh CVB president and CEO Denny Edwards and his staff should again be applauded for another year of stellar destination marketing and management in 2017-2018. Please review the many accomplishments of our award-winning CVB and its talented professionals 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