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Hospitality Outlook 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Buncombe County lodging leaders and community stakeholders gathered to hear a detailed report on market performance and forecast for the coming year. Explore Asheville President & CEO Stephanie Brown reported on CVB updates and initiatives that lay the groundwork for 2019. Bennjin Lao, Business Development Executive for STR, shared expert insights and data that combines hotel and short-term rental data for Buncombe County.

Download the presentations:

Laying the Groundwork for 2019
Stephanie Brown, President & CEO, Explore Asheville

Outlook on Lodging
Bennjin Lao, Business Development Executive for STR

Bennjin Lao, Keynote Speaker
Bennjin Lao is a Business Development Executive, Hotels for STR (STR, Inc.). STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 10 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England.

In his role, Bennjin is responsible for building and maintaining positive relationships between STR and both new and existing hotel clients in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the U.S.

Prior to joining STR, Bennjin served as the Director of Sales for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, where he implemented strategic initiatives to promote Tennessee as a global destination of choice to international and domestic tour and travel operators. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.


Friday, February 22, 2019
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville – Biltmore
115 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803 United States
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