Wilmington and its nearby beach communities are enjoying record visitor spending. New Hanover County saw an eight percent increase in tourism dollars last year -- the second-biggest statewide gain after Currituck County. The Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau credits this hike to increased in-state visitors.
With all its beaches, history and culture, the Cape Fear Region offers a well-rounded vacation experience, according to Kim Hufham, president and CEO of the Visitors’ Bureau. Hufham says that in recent years, her team has made the most of a challenging economy by publicizing such perks to Carolinians specifically.
"You know we’re a drive market—the majority of our visitors drive into our area, and they are from North Carolina. So we here at the Bureau have been much more focused the last few years on just the North Carolina market."
According to the North Carolina Division of Tourism, all 100 of its counties saw gains last year, totaling 19.4 billion dollars—a 5% hike over 2011, and an all-time record for the state.