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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 8:48 PM 

North Carolina tourism holds court

  • Air
  •   04-17-2015  9:52 am

North Carolina tourism holds court

Visit North Carolina and its partners thanked a group of Canadian travel professionals this week for their ongoing support, with an NBA match-up between the Toronto Raptors and the Charlotte Hornets.

In the end, the hometeam would take the game, with the Raptors taking the sting out of the Hornets, 92-87.

According to spokesperson Scott Peacock, professional sports is among the many tourism draws that Visit North Carolina is exploring to bring more Canadian travellers into the state, who often pass through en route to destinations like Florida.

“From a tourism standpoint, it’s a big market for us - there’s over a million Canadians that are coming down to our area and we’re trying to grow that market”, Peacock said. “We want to be more than a drive-through on their way to Florida.”

With Canadian sports teams heading south to play their U.S. counterparts there’s plenty of reasons for sports fans to pay a visit, Peacock said, from lower ticket prices to the tailgating culture unique to U.S. sporting events. For those who would rather play than observe, the state features many golf courses for travellers looking to hit the links.

“You can come down and watch the Leafs play the Hurricanes for $10,” Peacock said. “If you catch the right weekend in the fall, you might also catch a Duke University basketball game. Canadians have gone to places like Buffalo for years, but we find the uniqueness of the climate and what we do with tailgating is unique to the NHL. Plus, some of our best players are from Canada!”

In addition to sports, Peacock said that a growing food and beverage scene is also drawing travellers, particularly in North Carolina’s mountainous west, where the Yadkin Valley (which Peacock compared to California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma County) boasts a growing number of wineries and subsequently, an increasing number of hotels and lodging options.

While most Canadians are driving to North Carolina, Peacock said that increasing numbers of travellers are arriving by air, particularly through a partnership between Porter Airlines and JetBlue with a connection in Boston.

PHOTO: Scott Peacock, PR manager, Visit North Carolina; April Beauchamp, account director, Visit North Carolina; Brad Campbell, Transylvania County; Leslie Brewer, sales manager, Biltmore; Charmaine Singh, Visit North Carolina; Lorrie Love, tourism sales manager, Outer Banks; Stephanie Lucas, groups manager, Visit Charlotte; Aaron Tuell, PR manager, Outer Banks.