The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau earned a pair of tourism marketing awards at the annual North Carolina Tourism Industry Association (NCTIA) conference held in Raleigh, Nov. 15-16.
The CVB won the Platinum Award for Best Leisure Marketing for its “Pinecone Pathways Program” and the Gold Award for the Best Community Stakeholder for its “Moore Miracles for the Holidays” campaign. According to NCTIA, more than 80 entries were submitted from destination marketing organizations from across the state for consideration among four separate categories.
Pinecone Pathways Program
“Being recognized by your peers for all the creativity, innovation and hard work makes us extremely proud to represent such a world-class destination,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the CVB. “For a talented staff of four people and a couple of valuable part-timers, we are always looking for ways to engage people with fun and interactive experiences that draw visitors to the Pinehurst area and for all to enjoy.”
The Pinecone Pathways Program launched in the spring and created a partnership between the CVB and glassmakers from Starworks in Star. To support the statewide tourism “Year of the Trail” campaign, a total of 200 colorful glass pinecones were hidden over a two-month period along more than 30 trails in Moore County.
The campaign quickly became viral as passionate glass pinecone hunters searched trails for the treasures. The CVB reported that not only locals but also people from more than a half-dozen states visited the area to hunt for the glass pinecones. The CVB repeated the concept on Oct. 21 for Great Trails Day, where 10 glass pinecones were hidden for the single-day promotion.
In response to last December’s substation attacks, which resulted in a multiple-day power outage in Moore County, the CVB moved quickly to organize the “Moore Miracles for the Holidays” campaign. The goal of the effort was to encourage locals, especially visitors from outside the area, to come to Moore County and support local businesses impacted by the power outage during the critical holiday season.
With assistance from a Duke Energy donation of $60,000, the CVB launched a comprehensive digital marketing campaign with WRAL-TV to promote shopping in Moore County. The campaign was so impactful that it motivated Gov. Roy Cooper and his wife to spend an afternoon shopping in downtown Southern Pines. The CVB also hosted a series of street corner karaoke sessions and provided gift cards to dozens of local businesses donated by three local real estate companies to anyone who sang a Christmas carol.
NCTIA provides resources for anyone interested in issues relative to North Carolina’s travel and tourism economy. NCTIA members work in lodging, travel promotion, convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, restaurants, outdoor recreation, the media, advertising and public relations, associations, vacation sales and rentals and in companies supplying these businesses.