Tourism has been in the news a lot lately. Here at the culmination of National Tourism Week (May 5-11) and with the start of the summer travel season on the horizon, the timing feels right to shine a light on the public good that we can attribute to tourism and share the ways that lodging tax revenue will be activated to help manage impacts and plan future investments for the benefit of both Asheville area residents and visitors.

National Tourism Week is about the people in tourism—the people in our community. Every day I am inspired by local people who launch and live their dreams here, dreams that are possible because of tourism.

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) announced the formation of the Community Leadership Council at its meeting today. The group was formed to help guide the Tourism Management and Investment Plan to Develop Community Assets (TMIP) as part of an array of opportunities for public input, including an online survey for county residents, public forums to inform the process and a new website at

The Community Leadership Council (CLC) is a volunteer committee that will support the work of creating the TMIP. The group will review progress during several phases, share feedback and offer perspectives from the broader community.

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) approved funding for a yearlong community engagement process to better manage tourism and plan investments for the next decade, while maintaining the character and integrity of the region.

The Buncombe County Tourism Management & Investment Plan to Develop Community Assets (TMIP) is a collaborative process to bring public entities, tourism officials and the community together with data resources to develop a framework to guide the long-term investment of BCTDA’s Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF). Since its inception in 2001, the TPDF has granted $44 million to 39 projects, including sports fields, theaters, parks and greenways.