Research & Reports

Strategic Imperatives

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority has adopted strategic imperatives that are informing and guiding the direction of Explore Asheville’s program of work and community investments going forward. Each quarter Explore Asheville generates a report on progress made toward these strategic imperatives.

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Destination Dashboard & Performance Index

At each monthly board meeting, Explore Asheville generates a statistical output report. This snapshot of the local tourism economy includes information from the previous month. Access these reports here >>


Accreditation with Distinction – Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP)

Explore Asheville earned its reaccreditation eight years after first receiving the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal from Destinations International. The DMAP seal is awarded in recognition of the organization’s commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of destination organizations around the world. Explore Asheville was awarded “Accreditation with Distinction”, the highest possible recognition for a destination organization. “With Distinction” indicates that the organization exceeded the minimum requirements for accreditation and that the independent DMAP Board found no opportunities for the organization to improve its responses to the required standards.

The accreditation program requires a destination organization to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas to gain this momentous achievement. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of destination organizations including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research. Explore Asheville is among over 200 destination organizations who have obtained DMAP recognition, fewer than 10% of which earned “Accreditation with Distinction.”


Economic Impact Information

Visitors significantly contribute to the Asheville economy. In 2021, visitors spent $2.6 billion, according to preliminary research received in July 2022 from Longwoods International and Tourism Economics.

The benefits of visitor spending are distributed across many business categories. Although the occupancy tax shoulders 100% of the destination marketing investment for our community, lodging partners in 2021 garnered just under a third of the visitor spending at 31%. Restaurants and breweries, local shops, recreation, entertainment, and tour providers and transportation companies reaped 69% – the lion’s share of visitor spending rewards.

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Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority Annual Reports



– ADR (Average Daily Rate): Room revenue divided by rooms sold, displayed as the average rental rate for a single room.

– Contract Rooms: Contract rooms are occupied at rates stipulated by contracts – such as for airline crews and permanent guests. Room allotments that do not require guaranteed use or payment should not be classified as contract.

– Demand (rooms sold): The number of rooms sold or rented (excludes complimentary rooms).

– Group Rooms: Group rooms are sold simultaneously in blocks of a minimum of 10 rooms or more (e.g., group tours, domestic and international groups, association, convention and corporate groups).

– Occupancy: Rooms sold divided by rooms available multiplied by 100. Occupancy is always expressed as a percentage of rooms occupied.

– Percent Change: Amount of growth – up, flat, or down – this period versus same period last year (month or year-to-date). Calculated as ((TY – LY) / LY) * 100.

– Revenue (Room Revenue): Total room revenue generated from the sale or rental of rooms.

– RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): Room revenue divided by rooms available.

– Supply (Rooms Available): The number of rooms times the number of days in the period.

– Transient Rooms: Transient rooms Include rooms occupied by those with reservations at rack, corporate, corporate negotiated, package, government, or foreign traveler rates.