Extremely effective

Published 2:15 am Saturday, September 22, 2007

By Staff
Look for Lynn Lewis, in her new capacity as vice president of the North Carolina Travel Industry Association, to find a way to make sure her position benefits Washington.
Lewis, Washington’s tourism-development director, leads and coordinates the Washington Tourism Development Authority’s efforts to bring more tourists to the original Washington. Lewis, following directions from the authority, continues to prove herself as being effective and innovative.
During the recent North Carolina Travel Industry Association’s tourism leadership conference in Cary, NCTIA recognized excellence in the tourism industry by presenting several awards. Lewis received the President’s Award for her service to NCTIA and the tourism industry during the past year.
The Washington Tourism Development Authority determines what it wants done when it comes to bringing more tourists to the area. Lewis makes sure things get done, and done in an effective manner.
Lewis helped develop an award-winning campaign to market Washington as a destination for tourists. Is that award-winning campaign effective?
Tourism in Beaufort County generated an economic impact of $61.74 million in 2006, a 6.3 percent increase over 2005, according to a study.
That $61.74 million placed Beaufort County 47th in travel impact among the state’s 100 counties in 2006. In 2005, the county ranked 46th. Last year marked the fifth year in a row the county’s tourism-related revenues exceeded the $50 million mark. Since 1990, the county’s tourism revenue has nearly doubled. Those revenues were reported at $26.64 million in 1990.
In 2005 in the county, tourism generated an economic impact of $58.08 million, a 12.5 percent increase over 2004. The statewide study — The 2006 Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties — was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the Travel Industry Association of America.
Five increases in as many years. That’s effective.
Occupancy-tax revenue in Washington increased each year during five consecutive fiscal years, from 2001-2002 through 2005-2006, according to data released by the state Friday.
In that five-year period, Washington has collected $936,678 in occupancy-tax revenue. The city took in $235,869 in fiscal year 2005-2006, up from the $205,856 collected in the previous fiscal year.
Another five increases in as many years. That’s effective, too.
Lewis’ efforts aren’t going unnoticed. They shouldn’t go unnoticed. Members of the authority that hired her know why the area’s tourism efforts are paying off.
Now that she’s vice president of the North Carolina Travel Industry Association, expect Lewis to use information she gathers as an officer of that association to increase and enhance efforts to bring more tourists to Washington and its surrounding areas. And if other members of that association are smart, they will use Lewis’ knowledge and talent to help improve their efforts to bring more tourists to North Carolina.
Lewis won’t rest on her laurels. She won’t spend too much time enjoying her achievements. More than likely, Lewis already is exploring new ways that will result in another year of increases in the number of tourists who visit the area and the revenues those tourists generate for area businesses and local governments.
That’s why she’s extremely effective.