Wilmington, NC: While it may seem unusual to celebrate travel and tourism during a time when travel is temporarily paused, National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9, 2020) actually means more this year than ever! It is especially important for the tourism industry to come together and support each other at this moment in time during this special week. This year’s theme, the #SpiritOfTravel, celebrates hospitality workers and recognizes the strength and resilience of the industry as we look ahead to the eventual recovery from the current health and economic crisis.

“Businesses and workers in the travel industry have been among the first and hardest hit by the economic crisis resulting from coronavirus, further underscoring the importance of tourism in New Hanover County,” states Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “There is no place quite like Wilmington and our Island Beaches and we are grateful to each of the 6,470 individuals who work in our industry for their service and for making this such a great place to visit. Even while we cannot welcome visitors in person at this time, the spirit of travel and hospitality remains the enduring theme of our industry. Even during these challenging times, and as crisis gives way to recovery, our hospitality community’s unity, resilience, willingness to adapt, and determined spirit are worthy of celebration. They are the spirit of travel.”  

Spearheaded by the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), this year’s local NTTW observance will look and feel different than in years past. The virtual the #SpiritOfTravel celebration will be held online by sharing videos, images, road trip ideas, interactive Bingo cards with destination experiences, and inspirational messages via the Wilmington and Beaches and each of our three beach’s social media channels. 

To celebrate the Spirit of Travel, during the week of May 3-9 the CVB will join destinations across the U.S. to celebrate the ways that travel matters and how the spirt of travel is evident in our community. Here are some of the ways the Wilmington and Beaches CVB will observe National Travel & Tourism Week:

  • New Hanover County Commissioners will consider a Proclamation to designate May 3-9, 2020 asNational Travel & Tourism Week in New Hanover County” during their meeting on May 4. The meeting will be available live at 4:00 p.m. on NHCTV.com and on NHC government cable channels.
  • Participate in U.S. Travel’s Virtual Roadtrip on Twitter, May 5 (NC destinations featured1pm-2pm)
  • Throughout the week, share NTTW #SpiritOfTravel posts via social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for Wilmington and Beaches, and for Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach:
    • US Travel’s NTTW #SpiritOfTravel video; invite visitors to share favorite local spots;
    • Virtual Instagram Bingo Cards (destination experiences); encourage Followers to play along;
    • Share “What do you love about Wilmington and Beaches” NTTW visitor video: https://vimeo.com/409837993;
    • Reshare the Virtual Roadmap/Roadtrip on Instagram Stories and repurpose for Twitter;
    • Share ways to thank and support our hospitality community for their service: www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/covid-19-hospitality-resources/
  • CVB outreach to local travel industry and elected officials outlining NTTW #SpiritOfTravel virtual celebration, along with invitation to share messages and ways to help our hospitality community;
  • CVB outreach to local media and government channels to share:

National Travel and Tourism Week is also a time to share the industry’s positive impacts nationally, statewide, and locally:

In the United States, a robust travel industry has provided significant economic benefits for the nation, generating more than $2.6 trillion in economic output last year, with $1.1 trillion spent directly by travelers in the U.S. and supported 15.8 million jobs and $180 billion in tax revenue to support essential services and programs.

In North Carolina, travel and tourism is among the state’s fastest growing industries. Domestic travelers spent a record $25.3 billion in North Carolina in 2018.

In New Hanover County, travel and tourism has a significant effect on the local economy and a profound impact on the lives of the citizens of New Hanover County:

  • Travel and Tourism infuses millions of new dollars into the local economy each year that helps to fund beach nourishment, the convention center, lifeguard programs, and more.
  • Tourism contributes to economic growth by sustaining businesses in many sectors that depend upon visitor spending, including: hospitality, retail, food service, sports, arts and entertainment, and transportation, to name only a few.
  • In 2018 in New Hanover County:
    • The economic impact of tourism was estimated at $612.92 million, ranking New Hanover as #8 among North Carolina’s 100 counties in tourism expenditures.
    • Travel and tourism provided more than 6,470 jobs and supported a payroll of $149.14 million.
    • Travel and tourism generated approximately $54.27 million in state and local tax receipts, representing a $228.31 tax saving to each county resident. 

For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week (now in its 37th year), visit the U.S. Travel Association’s website at www.ustravel.org.

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. Visit us online at www.WilmingtonAndBeaches.com.


NOTE TO MEDIA: Please email cvbpr@wilmingtonandbeaches.com to set up interviews or request graphics (virtual Bingo cards and NTTW logo).  We also invite local media to Share our NTTW social media posts and to air/share the CVB’s local tourism video that honors our local tourism/hospitality employees. Link to video: https://vimeo.com/408956532. Thank you for your continued support!   

Find/Follow our Social Channels:

Wilmington And Beacheswww.instagram.com/wilmingtoNCoast/; www.facebook.com/CapeFearCoastNC


Carolina Beach: www.instagram.com/carolinabeachnc; www.facebook.com/CarolinaBeachNC; https://twitter.com/carolinabeachnc

Kure Beach: www.instagram.com/kurebeachnc; www.facebook.com/KureBeachNC; https://twitter.com/kurebeachnc

Wrightsville Beach: www.instagram.com/wrightsvillenc; www.facebook.com/WrightsvilleBeachNC; https://twitter.com/wrightsvillenc



Connie Nelson
Wilmington CVB
910-341-4030 x120