February 2022


- Shopping Around
- Important Dates
- Membership Reminder
- Industry Updates
- Member Spotlight


Shopping is the number one “activity” of visitors to any destination. And there are choices galore in our area!

Wilmington provides a wide variety of diverse shopping opportunities that range from national brands to locally owned boutiques and specialty shops. Independence Mall and Mayfaire offer a selection of department stores, national brands, boutiques and restaurants Lumina Station, The Forum Shops, The Pointe at Barclay and numerous other sites feature a mix of boutiques, restaurants and services. Downtown Wilmington features an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and fine art galleries. With additional boutiques, gift shops and art galleries spread throughout the area, visitors are invited to shop, shop, shop!!

Click here for a full listing of shopping opportunities in Wilmington and the surrounding area.


Visit North Carolina

All are welcome!

This year’s Visit NC 365 Conference is in Durham, March 20-22. Don’t forget to register for the conference. The registration of $499/person includes attendance to the conference; keynote and breakout sessions from industry leaders, motivational speakers and educational opportunities; plus networking with exhibitors. Returning this year is the NCTIA Tourism Education Foundation's Silent Auction, with proceeds going to support scholarships for students in the hospitality or tourism industry.

Hotel reservations need to be made separately from the conference via specially designated room blocks at several area hotels. Click here for hotel reservation information.

For more information or questions about the conference, contact Kelly Dawson. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, offering a range of options. Contact Dana Grimstead for sponsorship info.

National Overview

December 2021 travel spending nearly reached pre-pandemic spending levels, totaling $92 billion, only a 2% drop below December 2019 spending levels.*

December 2021 also saw a full recovery of hotel room demand to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.*

“92.1% of American travelers will take at least one trip in the next 12-months—in fact, they anticipate taking 3.3 leisure trips on average this year, the highest reported figure in 14 months.”**

This week, 81.5% of American travelers are in a ready-to-travel state-of-mind, which is among the highest levels of the pandemic era.**

International visitors spent $10.4 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States, an increase of 108% when compared to December 2020. ***

*U.S. Travel Association: Monthly Travel Data Report, January 28, 2022
**Destination Analysts: Week of January 31, 2022
***International Trade Administration December 2021 Inbound Visitor Spending
February Membership Luncheon
Date: February 16
Location: Blockade Runner Beach Resort
257 Waynick Blvd. Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
Time: 11:30am
Guest Speaker:
Hanna Telford, Partner Program Manager from Visit NC. Hanna will present information on the opportunities our state offers to individual hospitality businesses to partner with them to gain exposure with affordable investments starting at $150.

ILM opens expanded terminal to serve 50% more travelers *
Wilmington International Airport (ILM) officially opened its new concourse, part of its $68-million terminal expansion, to travelers Tuesday.
“It has been great to see passengers rocking in the rocking chairs, checking out the historical displays, and enjoying the ‘Loggerhead Labyrinth,'” spokesperson Erin McNally wrote to Port City Daily.
The expansion will serve 50% more passengers and increase the facility’s space by 75%.
*Port City Daily

Reminder: Join NOW
Be a part of our area’s only hospitality industry membership organization.


Joining is worthwhile: Network with fellow hospitality industry members! We are working on a roster of speakers to provide members with the most up-to-date industry information; members receive a discount rate of $25 for luncheon meetings ($35 for non-members will be 2022)


Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

Cape Fear Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, collects, preserves and interprets objects relating to the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. The Museum makes those objects and their interpretation available to the public through educational exhibitions and programs.

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0

Cape Fear Museum Event, Thursday, March 24th, 2022, from 5:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. (Adult Only Event)
"If you are a science/tech/engineering company and have interest in showcasing your products/services, consider a booth at the event".
Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members in advance.
Cape Fear Museum

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