The state tourism agency is unveiling a new ad campaign today that encourages residents to visit North Carolina first.
The ads highlight North Carolina as "an outdoor playground, an urban experience where people reconnect and a place where children and families bond," according to the state Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.
The agency is once again teaming up with state media groups to deliver its message: the N.C. Association of Broadcasters, the N.C. Press Foundation and the N.C. Outdoor Advertising Association. Consequently, the new ads will appear across the media spectrum -- online, print, radio and billboards.
One of the newspaper ads features a black-and-white photograph of a young girl reclining on a tree branch. The accompanying message: "There was a time when all playground equipment came pre-assembled."
Lynn Minges, assistant secretary for tourism, marketing and global branding, said last month that the campaign would focus on “affordable indulgences” that could attract residents who still want to take vacations but can't afford pricey vacations.
Hotel occupancy in North Carolina was down 12 percent during the first half of this year. But there's a silver lining for travelers: hotel rates were down 5 percent as hoteliers are using discounts to attract business.