Wilmington, NC: Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, is pleased to announce that the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) recently received a Tourism Marketing Achievement Platinum Award in the Meetings & Conventions category for the organization’s “Comeback” campaign. The 2018-2019 Tourism Marketing Achievement Awards were presented by the N.C. Travel Industry Association [NCTIA] on September 12, 2019 at a ceremony during the N.C. Tourism Leadership Conference held in Concord. Kim Hufham accepted the award.
The goal of the winning Comeback marketing campaign was to increase awareness among meetings, events and convention planners that Wilmington and its Island Beaches were ready to welcome delegates back to the destination after Hurricane Florence. It ran in tandem with a similar leisure visitor campaign. The trade industry Comeback campaign was created to promote the area’s quick recovery and to negate the perception of the storm’s impact and our ability to host meetings, conventions and events. The CVB announced the destination’s reopening to planners and event organizers via a strategic earned media relations campaign and secured targeted media coverage in Meetings and Conventions and Sports trade publications.
“It is exciting for the Wilmington and Beaches CVB to be recognized for the post-storm recovery-based marketing campaign that was developed and executed immediately following Hurricane Florence last September. The Platinum Award is NCTIA’s highest honor and we are proud to serve our travel partners and to represent the destination with award-winning, multi-faceted marketing programs,” states Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County TDA.
CVB Executive Vice-President of Marketing Shawn Braden adds: “We are especially honored to receive the NCTIA Tourism Marketing Achievement Platinum Award for our Comeback campaign, which was developed in partnership with our agencies to get the word out quickly that we were open for business and to dispel negative post-storm perceptions. The CVB shares this industry recognition for marketing excellence with the agencies who worked side-by-side with us on a strategic earned media campaign, as well as paid print and digital placements.”
The NCTIA Tourism Marketing Achievement Awards are given to honor and showcase innovation, best practices, creativity and the results accomplished through the travel and tourism industry’s marketing efforts. Separate award categories are established for the target audiences that destination marketers and tourism-related businesses speak to on a daily basis. The awards judging committee is comprised of travel and tourism professionals representing many facets of destination marketing, including CVB peers from other states, meeting planners, website designers, and editors from international meeting and convention trade publications.
The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority (TDA), d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau, markets and develops the county and its communities’ leisure and group travel experiences for economic growth and quality of place.