May 2019

Why does travel matter?

As you ponder that question, I’ll share some of my thoughts. When creating visit NC concierge’s 2019 brochure, I wrote that I fell in love with North Carolina the first time my dad took me to see “The Lost Colony.” My personal experiences confirm the U.S. Travel Association’s finding: sixty-two percent of adults say that their earliest, most vivid memories are of family vacations taken between the ages of five and 10!

Digging deeper, I believe the seeds of my curiosity about the world – its geography, history, peoples and cultures – were planted by my parents and my elementary teachers. Remembering Mrs. Long’s 4th grade history lessons, I especially recall the day we all dressed as children from around the world and brought in a “foreign” food to share. Mrs. Jones, my 8th grade teacher, nurtured my love of North Carolina and encouraged me to explore North Carolina’s history through novels and entering an essay contest as the state celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Carolina Charter of 1663.

Why does travel matter to you?

The travel industry is strong across North Carolina and around the country. This week we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week (May 5-11) which showcases travel’s contributions to the economy, as well as its intangible impacts – strengthening families, fostering hometown pride, and building bridges that connect us to one another.

I recently returned from the Visit NC 365 Conference in Wilmington – the annual gathering of travel partners from across the state. North Carolina is the sixth most visited state, which is not surprising considering the state’s unmatched natural scenic beauty, unique history and diverse cultural attractions. The economic impact of travel across the Tarheel state supports 225,000 jobs while generating more than $1 billion annually in state and local taxes. Without federal, state and local travel-generated tax revenues, each household would pay an average of $1,300 more in taxes every year to maintain the same level of services. One of the best-performing U.S. exports, inbound travel, flies largely under the radar. It generates a $77 billion trade surplus for America’s economy. Travel powers our economies, strengthens our communities, and changes our lives.

Travel, for me, is an essential component of my lifelong learning journey. The sensory experiences of travel – the smell of pine as I traveled via motorcycle through the mountains of Colorado... the tastes of street food in Istanbul... the sights of a small herd of elephants on the edge of a dirt landing strip as we circled to land in the Serengeti... the shimmer of light on the White Cliffs of Dover as the sun rose from the east... the sounds of seagulls squawking as they dove for bread crumbs my children threw from the stern of the ferry crossing Pamlico Sound heading for Ocracoke Island... Big Ben chiming at noon... the feel of sand between my toes on Topsail Island – each and every one are all golden links in my chain of travel memories. I know you have them too. What are yours? Please share them with us on our Facebook page or through email. I’d love to hear from you.
But back to our original question...

Why does travel matter?

Have you ever considered yourself a diplomat? Each and every time we travel, whether it be domestically or internationally, we are ambassadors as we relay our travel stories and experiences. Camaraderie of fellow sojourners, new sights and shared laughter enhance the quality of our lives. Increasingly, we Americans are realizing the value of our vacation time. Those who take all, or most, of their vacation days report being 20 percent happier in their personal relationships and 56 percent happier with their health and well being than those who don’t.

As the seventh largest employer in the U.S. private sector, the travel industry supports one in nine American jobs. My first job, when still in high school, was in the travel-dependent leisure and hospitality industry the largest small business employer in the U.S. As we approach the height of the travel season, take a few minutes to reflect on the rich tapestry of your life and the colorful threads your travels have woven into your life’s story. Whether your travel plans include trips close to home or an exotic destination far away, travel matters to our health, our families and our economy providing jobs, strengthening communities and keeping us connected.

In every pocket of America, from the largest cities to the smallest towns – TRAVEL MATTERS.

We still have space available to travel to Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks on June 4-6th. Come join us as we create memories together.

Don’t just see North Carolina. Experience it!

(919) 302-0574

North Carolina's State Symbols
Did you know that North Carolina has an official state insect? In 1973, the General Assembly gave the European honeybee that official designation. Honeybees play an important role in North Carolina’s agricultural economy. Major cash crops, such as cotton, alfalfa, fruits and vegetables, depend on
honeybees for pollination.

A recent article in The News & Observer by Zachery Eanes tells the fascinating story of bee hives finding homes at corporate office locations across the Triangle. Known as the “Bee Highway,” “the hives will soon form a connected ecosystem of colonies that stretches 60 miles from Garner to Chapel Hill.” Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, a fourth generation beekeeper, is the driving force behind this project. “Everything that we know about pollinator health and pollinator habitat is that there needs to be healthy corridors for all pollinators to travel through,” Bonner shared in the article.

I saw my first honeybee this spring several weeks ago as I walked in our yard. I’m always happy to see them. For me they are a sign of a healthy garden! Physically and socially unchanged for more than 30 million years, the honeybee is believed to have originated in tropical Africa and to have been brought to North America by the first Spanish and English colonists.

Beeswax and honey are just surplus gifts from this tiny wonder of nature!
Join Us At The Coast!

There's still time left! From June 4-6h, experience the unique geography, culture and history of North Carolina’s Inner and Outer Banks on this three day, two night trip to Manteo and Roanoke island, featuring an evening performance of The Lost Colony, a visit to Center for the Sounds on the Scuppernong River, and an exploration of Roanoke Island Festival Park, which celebrates the first English settlement in America, dating back to 1585. Travel by deluxe motor coach from Raleigh, and take in every moment of this exciting schedule that combines a visit to the commercial fishing village of Wanchese with time to wander in waterfront shops. Includes snacks, afternoon wine and cheese, three lunches, two breakfasts, and two dinners, as well as a wonderful stay at the refined Tranquil House Inn, overlooking Manteo’s waterfront. 

Book Now!
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Have you visited our Facebook page? There you'll find photos, travel tips, articles and other posts about all there is to discover in North Carolina. We might have some fun giveaways to come! Make sure to connect with us here:
What Our Guests are Saying About Us

"The trip to the North Carolina High Country provided an opportunity for us to learn about the Ben Long frescoes, Grandfather Mountain beauty, Elliott Daingerfield art and Eseeola Lodge’s history. Mary Esther’s planning and attention to detail provided us an incredible experience."

"I am a frequent traveler with Mary Esther and Visit NC Concierge. Each trip is well planned, very organized and provides experiences I could never create on my own. I highly recommend Visit NC Concierge if you seek to experience, learn and have all the planning done for you while visiting sites in North Carolina."

"Mary Esther is always available to answer any questions you may have and with great patience. She also is very willing to help solve any problem you may have. She is an excellent planner, director and tour guide. Her trips have been super!"

"Just a short note to tell you how much we enjoyed our curated trip to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit yesterday. It was truly first class ... It was our first trip with you and certainly will not be our last."

"We were very well educated as to what we would be doing and what we needed to do to make it all happen. Everything flowed as expected."

"We loved the carriage tour through the historic district. The homes and buildings were beautiful. We loved everything we did and thought each stop was delightful. Exceeded expectations."

"What I appreciate is that you provide guests an opportunity to learn and experience a part of NC while you take care of all the logistics and details!"

Contact us to book your tour today! 
visit NC concierge is a premier hospitality company dedicated to providing the discriminating traveler unique experiences savoring North Carolina’s history, geography, and culture at a leisurely travel pace while enjoying the state’s finest sites, cuisine, and lodgings. Itineraries are subject to change at the discretion of the company. Group size: minimum 10; maximum 30. Registration for each tour closes 30 days prior to tour start date. For more information, visit us at
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8726 Cypress Club Drive
Raleigh, NC 27615

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