2014-2015 Annual Report
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau's Annual Report updates you on the Bureau's progress toward increasing the area’s visitor and convention business. Review 2014-2015 progress reports here for sales, services, marketing, communications, sports marketing and administration/technology.
Letter from Chairman Jim McGovern
Dear Friends of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau,
The end of fiscal year 2014-2015 is a good time to reflect on the incredible impact that travel and tourism has on Wake County. There is no denying that tourism is a significant economic engine for our area and plays a large part in sustaining the quality-of-life aspects that we continually see being praised in the press through travel articles and accolades.
We welcomed 14.4 million visitors to Wake County and reaped a record $2.2 billion in direct visitor spending in 2014, generating $219 million in state and local tax revenues. Tourism also means jobs for locals. Throughout Wake County, more than 24,400 workers have jobs sustained solely by visitation to our area, and they earn a payroll of $656 million.
In other hospitality measures, Wake County's 2014 hotel occupancy tax collections increased by 13 percent over 2013 collections and totaled $20.26 million. Prepared food and beverage (PFB) tax collections in 2014 were up nine percent over 2013 collections, totaling $23 million--the highest PFB tax collections ever on record. Also, the estimated direct economic impact of GRCVB-assisted conventions, meetings and sporting events held in Wake County reached $138 million, meaning that Wake County continued to enjoy at least a 26-to-1 return on investment from the inter-local tax dollars invested into the Greater Raleigh CVB (GRCVB).
Denny Edwards and his team at GRCVB truly should be applauded for the work they do each and every day to share the vision of why Raleigh is one of the best places in the country to visit for leisure, business meetings or sporting events. In the next year you'll hear a lot more about the passionate people who make up the fabric of our destination, and this organization of 28 employees easily fits the definition of passionate. From the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) being named Sports Tourism Organization of the Year to the Sales/Services departments winning Meetings & Conventions magazine's Gold Service Award to GRCVB being awarded the 2014 Arts Destination Marketing Award, the staff deserves kudos.
As these awards illuminate, each of the departments (administration & marketing technology, sales, services, communications, marketing and GRSA) met and exceeded goals through hard work, innovative ideas and a genuine love for tourism promotion. Key events and initiatives that GRCVB staff led this year included hosting the Data4Decisions Conference (which helped to position this area as a leader in data analytics), hosting the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh and Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon and ½ Marathon, creating themostnc.com (a calendar website that positions Raleigh as the destination with the most live music in the state) and embarking on a destination brand tune-up (which will steer marketing and sales efforts for at least the next five years).
Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, there are a number of new initiatives that will have a positive impact on tourism and that GRCVB will be integral in developing. Feasibility studies are being done for downtown Raleigh hotel development and for expansions at the North Carolina Museum of History and Marbles Kids Museum, and we are excited about five new hotels opening--adding 729 hotel rooms, a five-percent increase in Wake County hotel inventory. We will welcome the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament back to the PNC Arena in 2016 and IBMA's World of Bluegrass returns for the third year in Sept.-Oct. 2015. The Society of American Travel Writers Eastern Chapter has chosen Raleigh for its 2016 meeting, and Data4Decisions returns for the second year next spring, helping to solidify this region's reputation as a data analytics hub.
I have no doubt that 2015-2016 will bring another year of great success. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the Wake County Board of Commissioners, Raleigh City Council, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center, The Conference Table, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Advisory Board and all local hospitality sector and allied businesses for their continued support of GRCVB's important mission.
2014‒2015 Chairman, GRCVB Board of Directors
General Manager, Angus Barn