Tourism Builds Community The Faces of Tourism BCTDA Proactively Pledges $4.6 Million To Make Up RADTIP Shortfall & Funds Two Community Projects in 2017 Grant Cycle Connect with the CVB & Tourism Industry Colleagues at monthly “Partner Forum” Events

Tourism Builds Community

Tourism promotion has been a successful strategy for building the local Asheville area economy. The establishment of the occupancy tax by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) in 1983 created a source of marketing funds that has helped create and sustain independent businesses by expanding the Asheville customer base and providing free marketing to connect visitors to local shops, restaurants, cultural experiences, events, attractions and accommodations.

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The Faces of Tourism

Look who is counting on tourism in Asheville. Think it’s primarily lodging? Think again. The impact of visitors is more far-reaching than you might expect.

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BCTDA Proactively Pledges $4.6 Million To Make Up RADTIP Shortfall & Funds Two Community Projects in 2017 Grant Cycle

The BCTDA will provide $4.6 million to the City of Asheville to complete the southern section of the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP). “The Buncombe County TDA continues to deliver on its mission to be a leader in the economic development of Buncombe County by dedicating lodging tax revenue to projects that make the community a better place to live and visit,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.

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Tourism Management & Investment Plan
to Develop Community Assets (TMIP)

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). The goal of the yearlong community engagement process is to better manage tourism and plan investments for the next decade, while maintaining the character and integrity of the region. The effort is being funded entirely by occupancy tax revenue, through the TPDF, paid for by overnight visitors to Buncombe County.


“We’re funding whatever applications come through the door, and they’ve been very worthwhile projects,” Stephanie Brown said. “But we know there are a number of projects in development and rather than take them first-come, first serve … we’re going to look at the whole landscape of projects and work in partnership with applicants to enhance the quality of projects and provide a strategic look at how money can be used over a long period of time.”

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) approved nearly $10 million in funding for six projects that will be used by thousands of residents while also increasing visitor spending in the county. The Authority also announced it will pause the TPDF cycle in 2019 while it pursues a process that will result in a long-range plan that can serve as a blueprint for continued collaboration to address infrastructure and sustainability needs.

“Maintaining the quality of our city for locals is maintaining the quality of our city for visitors, said BCTDA Chair Jim Muth, owner of Beaufort House Inn. “As residents of this community, we understand that it is critical to preserve, protect and grow sustainably for the mutual benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and the first year of operation of Explore Asheville as an independent organization. At its annual meeting BCTDA Chair Jim Muth and Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Brown will provide an overview of this monumental year of change and innovation that has led to record breaking performance.

“Asheville by Design” explores the vision and intentionality that gave shape and character to the Asheville area of today. The program is a partnership that continues a longstanding relationship between Explore Asheville and National Geographic Travel, born out of its appreciation for what Asheville is all about and a continued interest in telling stories that reflect the heart of the destination.

WLOS Persons of the Week, Himanshu Karvir and his wife Swati Patel, have made the drive their annual passion project. They help collect hundreds of backpacks every year. “Just to find out there was such a huge need for supplies like pencils and notebooks was really surprising to me,” Himanshu said. “That’s what drives my wife and I, is we have to help people in Buncombe County. We have to help our neighbors. That’s where it starts.”

A public hearing is scheduled Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at 9:00 a.m., for the purpose of approving the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s FY 2018-19 Operating, Earned Revenue, and Tourism Product Development Fund Administrative budgets. The hearing will be held in the boardroom of the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau at 27 College Place […]

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