Recently released figures on the impact of tourism in Western North Carolina are encouraging. More visitors are spending more money, and that means new jobs and increased sales tax revenue.
But there’s even more relevant news for those of us who believe that tourism should be viewed as a long-term, viable industry for the region. A study conducted in Buncombe County found that successful tourism marketing leads to direct increases in more traditional manufacturing jobs. Those jobs are increasingly difficult to attract in this era of cheap overseas labor.
Editor’s note: The following letter was recently sent to all members of the North Carolina General Assembly
As students and teachers start the new school year, instead of an exciting time for many, it’s a period of confusion, tension, fear and, in some cases, tears. We have traveled around the state talking with teachers, teacher assistants, and parents as they prepare for a new school year, and there is tremendous unrest about the future of public education and the impact recent public school setbacks are having on students, their families, and our communities.