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WAKE COUNTY CAPSULE

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 10

									    ORANGE COUNTY (NC) TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
                                          October 2010

           Including the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, North Carolina

ORANGE COUNTY SEPTEMBER'S TOURISM AT A GLANCE For the ninth month of calendar
year 2010, Orange County hotel occupancy tax collections were up 5.8 percent over 2009.



                                      September & YTD 2010
                                    Hotel Occupancy Production



                        Change        Orange        Durham       North        United
                        from          County, NC    /Chapel      Carolina     States
                        September                   Hill
                        2009
         September      5.8           57.2          59.5         54.8         59.9
         Occupancy
         September      -7.7          100.41        85.3         80.56        99.31
         ADR
         September      -2.3          57.41         50.75        44.16        59.49
         RevPar
         2010 YTD       0.6           59.9          62.3         54.6         58.9
         Occupancy
         2010 YTD       -5.9          100.39        82.96        79.48        97.89
         ADR
         2010 YTD       -5.3          60.13         51.70        43.39        57.7
         Rev Par

          REV PAR = Revenue Per Available Room: room revenue divided by rooms available.


GROUP SALES
September was a busy month for the Group Sales Team. Producing 8 leads, totaling 806
room nights and approximately 200 attendees with an estimated economic impact for these
groups of $342,596. Definite business for the month is showing 4 definite pieces of business
booked in Orange County, with 220 room nights and 238 attendees, equaling an estimated
$78,645 in economic impact. Traveling this month was Linda Ekeland, Sales Director, to
Rejunvenate Conference, where over 300 planners were present. More than 50 conference
managers asked specifically for an appointment with Ms. Ekeland. It was also a busy month
for sales event held at MEZ restaurant targeting qualified meeting planners from the RTP
area


                                                                                           1
SALES ACTIVITY AND PRODUCTION



                                 Group Bookings & Events for September
      Group            Room Nights            Attendees              Dates           Location Booked
 Arcatech Systems                                              September 17-18,
                            0                     10                                        Siena
Management Meeting                                                   2010
 Carruthers & Bailey                                           September 9 & 15,
                            0                     20                                    Hampton Inn
      Law Firm                                                       2010
  Urology Nursing
                           70                     65           October 23-24, 2010   Sheraton Chapel Hill
       Society
  National Learning                                                                  Botanical Gardens &
                           150                   150           October 15-18, 2010
        Inst.                                                                           Hampton Inn


HOTEL RATES RISE AS MORE PEOPLE TRAVEL
Wave rock-bottom hotel prices goodbye says USA Today. Signs of escalating room rates are
emerging as more people are traveling. Marriott, an industry bellwether, said this week that
its rates in the second quarter rose for the first time in two years. Travelocity says rates of
rooms in the nation's 20 largest markets booked on its travel site for fall - from Sept. 7 to
Nov. 19 - are 3.5% higher than a year ago. Smith Travel Research, which tracks the hotel
industry, found average rates in the top 25 U.S. markets up 3.5% in August. Last year was
dreadful for the industry as people stayed at home. While hotel operators have been
optimistic that customers would trickle back this year, they expected room rates to lag. But
rates are rising as demand for rooms has grown. The number of rooms sold in the U.S. rose
8.3% in August vs. a 7.4% year-to-date average, says Smith Travel Research. "Many seem
to wonder if the economic recovery has any strength and if there is a risk of a double dip,"
says Arne Sorenson, Marriott's president. "There's nothing in our business that indicates
this. Business and leisure travel are strong." An increase in business and vacation travelers
means hotel discounts will be harder to find.

Hotels & Lodging Industry Outlook - October 2010. With a gradual recovery of the global
economy, the hotels and lodging industry is experiencing an increase in demand. The
industry faced extremely tough challenges in the prior year due to the economic turmoil that
resulted in weak labor and tight credit markets, resulting in lower discretionary spending.
According to Zacks Equity Research the recovery in the economy has seen a return of
business travelers, with a rising demand for leisure. However, the rate of improvement in
room rates still lags. Riding on the back of improvement in the U.S. economy and the
consequent rise in operating metrics, most of the hoteliers have started reporting positive
quarterly results and profits are expected to rise further in 2010, as bookings continue to
ramp. We are seeing ample evidence of that in positive estimate revisions. Since the U.S.
market is somewhat saturated, hoteliers are exploring growth opportunities abroad. Hotel
companies are seeing higher demand in the international market, as the pace of economic
recovery is particularly fast outside the U.S.

                                                                                                            2
Tourism Summit

Wednesday October 27th from 1-3 PM, the Visitors Bureau will host a tourism presentation
led by Duane Vinson, partner with Smith Travel Research, Knoxville, TN. Vinson, vice
president of the hospitality industry data-reporting firm, will address trends across the
country and how the travel industry of North Carolina and Orange County is being impacted
by travel shifts at the corporate, association and individual leisure markets. Smith Travel
Research (STR), the leading authority on lodging industry performance trends benchmarks
hotel occupancy, rate, and revenue through its STAR program. STR tracks market share
performance for virtually every major global hotel chain and most major owner &
management companies through its STAR program. The event is sponsored by the Visitors
Bureau and will be held at the Friday Center. Also presenting will be Lynn Minges Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for North Carolina and director of the North Carolina Department of
Tourism. In addition, the Bureau will present its 2011 Plan of Action. For details, contact
Tina Fuller, 919-968-2060 or tifuller@visitchapelhill.org




                           Calendar and Fiscal Year Reporting
                                    Sales Production
                              Visitor Bureau Definite Bookings
                 September   September   % Change       FYTD        FYTD      % Change
                   2010        2009                      2010        2009

      Leads
     Generated      8           3          166%           20          15       33.33%

    Confirmed
    Bookings        4           7         -42.85%         11          12       -8.33%

      Total
      Room
      Nights       220         490         -55%           537        846       -36.52%


       Total
    Attendance     238         1140        -79%           638        1667      -61.72%

     Estimated
     Spending     78,645      387,690      -79.7%       236,534    509,517      -53.57




                                                                                          3
EVENT MARKETING
September event highlights include the NC Science Expo, NC Pride activities, the launch of a
new children's tourism book on Chapel Hill, the introduction of Trolley service to Chapel Hill
and Carrboro. Additionally, the Visitors Bureau provided sponsorship support to October's
TerraVITA event in Southern Village, the Carrboro Film Festival in November and 2nd
Friday Art walks.To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a
Mockingbird, on Oct. 28 the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and the Center for
the Study of the American South at UNC-Chapel Hill are sponsoring a screening of the movie
at the Varsity Theater, followed by a panel discussion with notable area writers. Leading the
discussion will be Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Randall Kenan, Minrose Gwin, and Jaki Shelton
Green. Actor John Feltch will comment on the experience of playing Atticus Finch. Gene
Nichol, law professor and director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity,
will serve as moderator. The show begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $3 for the general public and
free to holders of UNC One Cards. Advance tickets are available at the Varsity box office,
and purchasing or claiming them is recommended. Following the movie and discussion, a
reception will be held in the Ackland Art Museum. RSVP for the reception by emailing
mockingbirdrsvp@unc.edu.


AGRI-TOURISM
The visitors bureau will produce an agri-tourism campaign in 2011 that includes these
components:
  1. 2011 Visitors Guide includes a 4 page insert that spotlights the rural Orange County
farms, farmers markets, farm to fork restaurants and a “how to guide” on enjoying the
countryside.
  2. A new regional agri-tourism campaign has been cemented with the Durham, Raleigh, and
Chatham County CVBs to produce a regional agri-tourism program that uses a web site,
electronic map, PR pitches, and stock video footage on YouTube, linked to the site.
  3. Communications materials on what tourism means to farmers:
http://www.visitchapelhill.org/resources/visitors-profile

Criteria for regional agricultural tourism campaign Activity-Based Farms – Open to the
public. Must be open at least 1 day on the weekend. Seasonal farms are permitted but must
be open at least 3 days a week, one of which must be a weekend day.
Agri-tourism Events – Events open to the public with a purpose tied to any of these
categories.
   • Artisan Bakeries – Locally owned and operated retail bakeries. Items must be baked
       on the premises (in a bricks and mortar building) using whole ingredients (not pre-
       mixed). Must source at least 25% of their products locally (within 75 miles) or from
       artisan/specialty food suppliers.
   • Farm to Fork Restaurants – Locally owned and operated. Must use at least 1 locally
       sourced (75 miles) animal or meat, 2 locally sourced dairy products and 4 locally
       sourced produce items year round.



                                                                                             4
   •   Farmers Markets – Open to the public with regularly scheduled hours of operation.
       Hours may fluctuate by season. Host venue must showcase multiple farmers in the
       region, so roadside stands from a single farm are not considered farmers markets.
   •   Farms with Consumable Goods – Open to the public. Must be open at least 1 day on
       the weekend. Seasonal farms are permitted but must be open at least 3 days a week,
       one of which must be a weekend day.
   •   Food Tours and Trails
   •   Nurseries and Public Gardens – Locally owned and operated. Regularly scheduled
       hours of operation. Publicly accessible with a public purpose beyond an individual
       neighborhood.
   •   Wineries and Breweries.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Major Media Covering Orange County, NC
FRANK, the new art cooperative on Franklin Street was featured in the September 23 edition
of North Carolina Weekend on UNC-TV. North Carolina Weekend

The Hungry Traveler feature written by Greg Cox in the October issue of Cooking Light
magazine highlights Eating in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. Orange County
restaurants and bars mentioned include Hillsborough's Pancuito and chef Aaron Vandemark
and Gary Crunkleton and The Crunkleton on W. Franklin Street. You can find great
restaurants, superb cocktails and classic meals in The Triangle. A few recipes included
allows you to try out these meals at home. Cooking Light



ARTS COMISSION
Fall, 2010 Grant Deadline November 30th
Our Fall Arts Grant applications and guidelines are now available. Fall categories are:

Arts Program Grant - up to $1,500
Arts in Education Grant - up to $1,000
Arts in Education Coalition Grant - up to $5,000 Artist Project Grant - up to $1,000

Fall Grants Project Period: January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011

Supportable Projects: a variety of programs in the visual, performing, literary arts
ATTENTION: DUNS number required for all applicants

Deadline: 5 pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Applications: Applications and guidelines can be downloaded from the link below. Hard
copies are available at the Arts Commission office, at all Orange County Public Libraries, and
at the Chapel Hill Public Library. www.artsorange.org

                                                                                             5
VISITOR SERVICES

                    Some 824 people came by the Visitor Center on Franklin Street in September, down
                    from last month and a 2% decrease from August 2009, which was, 841. The majority of
                    visitors, 412, were from out of state. 61 were from out of the country, 120 from North
                    Carolina and 231 locals stopped in. 76 % inquired about general information, 10% had
                    an interest in relocation information and 14% were here for UNC related business and
                    activities.




                                       Visitor Statistics
                    TOP 5 VISITOR ATTRACTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2010

                              Attraction           September 2010
                              Kenan Stadium                58,371
                              ArtsCenter                   14,135
                              Triangle Sportsplex          12,735
                              PlayMakers                     7,659
                              Morehead Planetarium           6,421




                                  Visitor Information Center
                    September September          %           FYTD         FYTD          %
                       2010      2009          Change         2010         2009       Change
        Walk-In
                       824          841          -2%          3387         3347        1.2%
         Traffic
        Requests
           for         329          741         -55.6%        1549         1234        25.5%
        Materials


                                   Visitor Inquiries - Website
                    September September          %           FYTD         FYTD          %
                       2010      2009          Change         2010         2009       Change
        Website
                      14709        11757         25%         40912        34222        19.5%
        Visitors



                                                                                                        6
                                           Top 10 Referring Domains
www.google.com               (direct references)        www.visitchapelhill.org   www.chocvb.org         search.yahoo.com
www.ci.cgaoek-hill.nc.us     www.bing.com               www.visitnc.com           tarheelblue.cstv.com   www.unc.edu



                                                       106        75
                                                   133 1%         1%
                                                   2%      101
                                          201
                                  249                      1%
                                          3%
                                  3%
                    542
                    7%

            642
            9%


                                                                                                                3957
                                                                                                                55%

                           1258
                           18%




                     Chart: Number of visits and percentage by domain for September 2010
                    Note: ‘Direct references’ represents visitors by a non-determined referrer.
                                               Source: Live-Person




                                                                                                                            7
     Visitor Statistics Cont’d/September 2010

   Top 10 Keywords by Search Engine Visitchapelhill.org


    Keyword            Google          Yahoo      Other

red window chapel
                        321                 58      0
       hill

  chapel hill nc        253                 53      1


chapel hill events      243                 1       0


   red window           137                 23      3


    chapel hill         141                 14      1

   red window
                        138                 7       0
 furniture store
chapel hill visitors
                         92                 2       0
     bureau
 the red window
                         71                 1       0
  chapel hill nc

  chapel hill, nc        43                 13      2


 visit chapel hill       52                 1       4

                       Source: LivePerson




                                                          8
                                Aviation Information
                              Aviation Passengers (Deplaned)
                 September September            %           2010          2009        %
                    2010      2009            Change       CYTD           CYTD      Change
   Total
                  363,463        348,949       4.2%       3,363,813   3,336,739        0.8%
 Passengers
    Total
International       6613          5,803         14%        65,456         60,323       8.5%
 Passengers
  Taxicab
                    21,579        15,933       35.4%       174,191        166,144      4.8%
   Trips

Supershuttle        2,876          3578       -19.6%       25,986         25,527       1.8%

                           Source: Raleigh Durham International Airport


                   Top 10 Markets of Origination for Information
         State               September 2010              State                  FYTD
          NC                       13                     NC                     39
           FL                       4                      FL                    23
           TX                       4                     NY                     15
           MI                       3                      TX                    14
           PA                       3                     OH                     11
           SC                       3                      Ca                    10
          GA                        2                      NJ                    10
           IN                       2                      PA                     9
          MO                        2                     VA                      9
           NJ                       2                      IL                     8
       All Others                  21                  All Others                84




               NOTE: Does not include material requested from publication media
                                       Source:iDSS




                                                                                              9
Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Board
The following individuals serve on the Visitors Bureau board: Jim Ward, Town of Chapel Hill; Laura Hayes
Morgan; UNC-Chapel Hill; Rick Strunk, North Carolina High School Athletic Association; Jim Parker;
Hillsborough Chamber; Lydia Lavelle, Town of Carrboro; Anthony Carey, GM: The Siena Hotel; Orange
County Lodging Association (under 100 rooms); Mark Sherburne GM, The Aloft (over 100 rooms); Orange
County Lodging Assoc.; Michael Gering, Town Board of Hillsborough; David Gephart, Alliance for Historic
Hillsborough; Greg Overbeck, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Chamber of Commerce; Lee Pavao, At-Large; Dwight
Bassett, Economic Development Officer, Chapel Hill; Jim Norton, Executive Director, Downtown Partnership,
James Harris, Economic Development Director, Carrboro; Robert Kintz, Orange County Arts Commission.




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