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 three Tourism Marketing Achievement Awards, including “Best Of Show” among all entries by destination marketing organizations across the state. The CVB also scored a Platinum Award in the Leisure Marketing category for the organization’s “Hallow-Scream” campaign and brought home a Gold Award in the Community Relations category for its 2022 local destination Ambassador video. The 2021-2022 Tourism Marketing Achievement Awards were presented by the N.C. Travel Industry Association [NCTIA] during the N.C. Tourism Leadership Conference held November 15-16 in Charlotte.

Award-winning “Hallo-Scream Getaway” Campaign

In addition to winning NCTIA’s 2021-2022 Platinum Leisure Marketing Achievement Award, the Wilmington and Beaches “Hallo-Scream Getaway” campaign was also selected as “Best Of Show” by a panel of industry judges as the one shining example among all entries that best exemplifies the complete package of innovation, creativity, and results.

In a proactive effort to address the lingering challenges of COVID 19 and to take advantage of the national publicity generated by the Wilmington-made blockbuster film “Halloween Kills,” the CVB developed a “Hallo-Scream Getaway” social and web campaign. The campaign’s creative elements tapped into Wilmington’s thriving film community by highlighting locations from locally filmed horror productions, thereby supporting film tourism marketing efforts and increasing awareness of Wilmington as a filmmaking destination. In addition to the social campaign, the CVB partnered with Visit NC to execute a “Halloween Kills” trip giveaway and social promotion for the premiere of the film. Winners attended a red-carpet premiere of “Halloween Kills” and received a Hollywood East-themed trip to Wilmington.

Developed and executed to promote awareness of and visitation to the destination during September and October (fall shoulder season), the winning campaign included an event-specific landing page, blog, eblast, social feed posts across all social media platforms. The campaign’s intent was to highlight everything visitors could do in-market to make the most of a Halloween getaway to one of the South’s most actively haunted cities—from family-friendly activities to paranormal excursions. Supporting content was promoted across earned media outreach and social media.  

According to Shawn Braden, the CVB’s Executive Vice-President of Marketing & Strategy, while there are many factors beyond marketing efforts that impact travel to our destination, including the hard work of our tourism industry partners, New Hanover County room occupancy tax collections reported record 2021 increases in September (+22.53%) and October (+36.19%), as compared to the previous record set in 2019 (pre-Covid). Additionally, Halloween-themed campaign web traffic and social media engagement increased year-over-year by 27% and 106%, respectively.

Local Ambassador Video

Intended for a local audience, an emotionally compelling Local Ambassador Video was created to instill a sense of community pride for Wilmington and Beaches as a great place to live, work and play; to demonstrate the key role that tourism plays in quality of place; and convey how residents help ensure responsible growth when they share our destination and act as ambassadors. The video debuted in May during the CVB’s annual National Travel and Tourism Week industry travel rally and continues to air on government cable access stations NHC-TV and GTV8. It can also be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/702138768.   

NCTIA Marketing Achievement Awards

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 communicate with 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.

Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

“It is exciting for the Wilmington and Beaches CVB to be recognized by NCTIA and industry professionals for its marketing campaigns and community relations efforts. We are honored to receive each of the marketing achievement awards, and most especially the Best Of Show award which was chosen from more than 60 submissions by statewide destination marketing organizations of all sizes and budgets,” states Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County TDA. "We are proud to serve our travel partners and to represent the destination with award-winning marketing programs. The CVB shares this industry recognition for marketing excellence with the agencies that worked with our team to create and successfully execute a strategic paid and earned media campaign."

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.



Connie Nelson

Communications/Public Relations Director
Wilmington and Beaches CVB
910-341-4030 x120