Wilmington, NC: In recognition of tourism’s important role in our community, the New Hanover County Commissioners approved a Proclamation at their April 17 meeting that designates May 7-13, 2023 as National Travel and Tourism Week in New Hanover County.

Celebrated annually the first full week in May, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward. May 7-13, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of NTTW with the theme #TravelForward to spotlight the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation. Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries.

New Hanover County travel partners and tourism stakeholders are helping to move travel forward locally by stimulating economic growth, creating job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, providing excellent customer service and creating ‘wow’ experiences for visitors.

On Wednesday, May 10, the CVB will gather with travel industry partners and elected officials to kick off the busy tourist season during its annual Travel Rally breakfast and celebration at the Wilmington Convention Center. This year’s special guest is motivational speaker Denise Ryan with FireStar Speaking, who will inspire attendees to find renewed passion for our work, beat burnout and get more out of life. The CVB will also unveil the area’s new Mobile Trip Guide, a Riverwalk promotion and its first destination ambassador training program. Additionally, New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority President/CEO Kim Hufham will present a state of tourism overview and announce this year’s Tourism Star and Jane Peterson Tourism Legacy award recipients. 

“During National Travel and Tourism Week, the CVB salutes the more than 6,100 tourism and hospitality employees who work in New Hanover County,” states Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “Dedicated and hard-working employees are key to the success of a travel destination. This year’s Travel Rally and celebration theme will focus on reigniting our flames and providing new tools to deliver excellent customer service. By providing a positive visitor experience we inspire repeat visitation and positive reviews that organically grow tourism, thereby benefiting our workforce, supporting our local economy, and contributing to our community’s identity and quality of place."