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Raleigh Begins New Push For Visitor Revenue

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Visitors spent more than $1 billion last year in Wake County. Now there's a new approach to get tourists to spend money, and it involves local citizens.

As part of a new strategic plan, the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to target people -- not just from other states and countries, but people like Charlie Blackburn, who lives in Raleigh.

"We go to the Capitol, museums, Pullen Park," said Blackburn. "But beyond that, I'm really not sure where to go, and I've been here eight or nine years."

Blackburn's family is visiting from Tennessee. The Visitors Bureau wants to make sure he and others know a lot more about the area.

The bureau is working on an outreach plan that could include things like a website and personal contact with locals.

"If local people knew of all the positive things there are to see and do here, they would share that with their visitors," said spokesman Dave Heinl.

The bureau also wants people to live here know how the industry impacts their wallets. Visitor spending saves every Wake County household more than $300 a year.

The bureau says local people can also help bring their trade groups here for meetings at the new Convention Center. Currently, Wake County is the state's second largest county in terms of visitor spending.


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