The Division unveiled The Official 2012 North Carolina Travel Guide, which features Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in Wrightsville Beach on its cover, during a joint press conference last Friday with the Wilmington and Beaches CVB. The Travel Guide’s evocative photographs and modern digital features draw visitors into the natural, manmade and historic assets that enrich the state’s travel experience. “Visitors love North Carolina, and many develop deep connections to our great state,” said Assistant Sec. Lynn Minges.
The Travel Guide is available for visitors at all nine of the Division’s Welcome Centers, by calling 1-800-VISITNC or by placing an order at VisitNC.com. Bulk orders of the Travel Guide are available by emailing your request and delivery information to firstname.lastname@example.org. At VisitNC.com/eguide, users can access the enhanced digital version, which includes embedded videos, an interactive Blue Ridge Parkway map, and animated photos and ads. A free iPad app comes with video, slide shows, audio, photo panning and links to VisitNC.com. A mobile Web app for the guide is also in the works.
The cover of the guide sets its tone with a vivid sunrise shot of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in Wrightsville Beach, a landmark rebuilt with concrete for added staying power. Inside, an article about North Carolina fishing evokes the lure of wahoo, trout and bass with photographs, a link to the iPad app, and a quick-read (QR) code to scan for more information. VisitNC.com offers a chance to win a trip to Wrightsville Beach with a Travel Guide Sweepstakes that runs through January. “Our North Carolina fishing piers are places where families visit year after year and where memories are made,” Minges said. “North Carolina is full of treasures like this, and we are excited about the way we can use technology to help travelers connect with them.”
The Travel Guide includes 831 attractions, nearly 4,000 accommodations and travel resources in all 100 counties. Articles venture beyond the practical aspects of travel to explore the dimensions that distinguish a trip to North Carolina – the marriage of sustainable agriculture and fine dining, traditional craft and food items to take home, the way attractions use technology to advance their stories, and how vacations in special places strengthen family ties. And in observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, travelers learn about sites that reflect the journey of African-Americans from slavery to freedom.
The Division of Tourism will distribute 600,000 copies of the printed guide. The publication represents a $1.3 million investment by Division travel partners in print and online advertising and cooperative marketing efforts. Destinations, attractions and accommodations are listed for free.