The Wake County Destination Strategic Plan (DSP) is garnering international attention. 

The Destinations International Annual Convention is happening this week in St. Louis, where over 1,400 representatives from convention and visitors bureaus from around the world will be attending.

I have been asked to serve on two panels during the convention discussing how we initiated a DSP, including the process and the implementation scope. Many CVBs from around the country view our process as a model as they begin to conduct tourism master-planning of their own. For details about our DSP, please go to

Hospitality tax
As I wrote in last month's blog post, Raleigh's City Manager and the Wake County Manager submitted their recommendations regarding the future use of the hospitality tax (also referred to as the Interlocal Fund).

The GRCVB Board of Directors voted at their recent July meeting to support the managers' recommendations. Here is the statement that was approved and sent to Raleigh City Council and the Wake County Board of Commissioners last week:

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau would like to thank the manager of the City of Raleigh and Wake County, along with their staffs, for the countless hours they have spent determining the best use of future funding of the hotel occupancy and prepared food and beverage taxes.

They (city and county managers) incorporated a process which was approved by the Raleigh City Council and Wake County Board of Commissioners, which included following the hospitality tax operating principles and practices created with input from stakeholders throughout the county. We also appreciate that they conducted a number of stakeholder meetings for community discussion and to learn of projects and potential requests for use of the funds.

Given the limited amount of funds available, GRCVB's Board of Directors is in agreement with and supportive of the managers’ recommendations. We believe their conclusions are consistent with the priorities of the Wake County Destination Strategic Plan, completed last year. These projects will best drive significant overnight visitation and generate even more hotel and prepared food and beverage taxes, which will ultimately allow us to fund even more projects in the future.

Next steps
The Wake County Commissioners are planning to have a special work session on Aug. 12, 2019, to address answers to questions that arose at their last meeting. The hope is that both the commissioners and Raleigh City Council will vote on the final recommendations by late August or early September.

Photo by Brian Strickland