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Should I stay or should I go?

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Tags: .biz | tourism

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.


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Almost felt bad...

The wife and I just spent 4 wonderful days on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains and as I was reading this blog I began to feel guilty. But, after reading the few posters here, I DON'T. They are absolutely correct! Why should we NC residents continue being taxed when we vacation in our own state! I remembered getting gas in Asheville and paid almost 50 cents more a gallon than was posted back in Tennessee. No, I don't have any plans to spend any more tax dollars than I am already expected to... Thank you Tennessee for a wonderful time!!

You are kidding right?

You just raised my income tax, my sales tax, my gas tax, my spirits tax...

Every other surrounding state is less expensive to visit. They have beaches, cities and mountains too. Either give us all deep discounts or kiss my hiney.

book rooms online at 50% off...NC Gasoline TAXES are TOO HIGH

Gas is cheaper in neighboring states, so thats where people should we have that new sales tax increases, so Id much rather spend in SC, and fill up my gas tank there too!...

Rather go to Georgia or Florida, thanks.

Five percent discount?

If a hotel room is $100, and is discounted five percent, that's a five-dollar discount, and the room is now $95--small savings to destitute vacationers. How about a FIFTY percent discount, hoteliers? It's better than a vacant room, isn't it?

Tourist un-friendly

If NC is serious about promoting in-state tourism, they need to make the state more vacationer-friendly. In this state, motorcyclists are forced to wear DOT approved helmets - a joke. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on public beaches or lakes, period. Most states have no problem as long as cans and bottles aren't left everywhere. Bars close at 2 am, and then the only place left to go is the Waffle House. Tourist sites that used to be free are now pay-for-view, such as the waterfalls in the mountains. Taxes on food and motels are outrageous, not to mention the gas tax. I could go on and on, but what's the point? NC has wonderful places to go, but I try to get out of here whenever I get a few days off.

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About the blogger

David Ranii has been a business reporter at The News & Observer since 1993. Over the years he has covered information technology, banking, insurance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, media businesses and real estate. Contact him at 919-829-4877 or e-mail him.