On Nov. 15-16, several members of GRCVB’s Marketing & Communications, Convention Sales and Destination Services teams attended the North Carolina Tourism Leadership Conference, held at The Westin Raleigh-Durham Airport in Raleigh. The annual conference is organized by the North Carolina Travel Industry Association (NCTIA) and features sessions and presentations from travel leaders with updates about the current industry climate, specifically as they relate to our state.

This year’s agenda included a marketing update by Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina; a legislative session update by Brian Lewis and Skye David, NCTIA lobbyists; and a plenary session called “AI for the Travel Industry—Transform for the Digital Age” by technology specialist Jim Spellos.

“It was a pleasure to host this conference, its speakers and special guests in Raleigh for the first time in many years,” said Jonathan Freeze, CDME, EDP, GRCVB’s vice president of marketing and communications, who also gave welcome remarks to attendees at the Thursday luncheon. “We thank leadership at the new Westin for working closely with our regional sales manager, services manager and of course the NCTIA event planners to make successful hosting of our own industry group possible this year.”

Visit Raleigh Staff with NCTIA Awards

At the conference each year NCTIA also presents its Tourism Achievement Awards to honor and showcase innovation, best practices, creativity and results accomplished through our industry’s attraction-level and destination-level marketing efforts. At the 2023 Tourism Leadership Conference, GRCVB was honored with four awards, including:

  • Best of Show for the 2022-2023 “Jump In” campaign overall (this is one of the major awards based on all submissions in every category—a big honor!);
  • Platinum for our “Jump In” leisure campaign video advertising in the Leisure Marketing category;
  • Platinum for GRCVB/GRSA’s hosting and servicing of the 2023 NHL Stadium Series in the Group Visitors category;
  • Gold for our “Jump In”-themed meeting professionals campaign in the Convention Marketing category.

“A lot of hard work by GRCVB staffers, GRSA division staff and even the Bureau’s agency of record Avenir Bold made 2022-2023 another outstanding year for Raleigh area tourism coming out of a global pandemic and economic downturn,” said Jonathan.

“We don’t do this work for the chance of winning awards—rather for the sake of growing our area’s tourism economy year-over-year, but it’s still nice for our efforts to be recognized competitively as best in the state by NCTIA’s judges; the teams can take that much more pride in what they’re doing each day for Wake County.”