01/16/11 — Duplin, host of March tourism summit, trying to attract visitors

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Duplin, host of March tourism summit, trying to attract visitors

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on January 16, 2011 1:50 AM

WALLACE -- Experts from across the state will meet in Duplin County this March to discuss hot topics in the tourism industry.

North Carolina's Eastern Region and Duplin County Tourism will hold a "mini-summit" Wednesday, March 2 at the River Landing Country Club in Wallace.

The session will provide educational presentations and panel talks about different areas of tourism, and the opportunity for professionals to network with others in the industry.

"I encourage all interested parties to take advantage of this great opportunity and attend the event. It's a time to network with members of the tourism industry, provides opportunities to attend some high-quality educational sessions and offers a chance to see what Duplin County has to offer," Duplin County Director of Tourism Kristina Ayres said.

Guests will have the opportunity to hear about nature-based eco-tourism from a speaker with the East Carolina University Center for Sustainable Tourism. Participants can also learn about ways communities can become part of the booming North Carolina film industry from state Film Office Director Aaron Syrett, and learn about marketing sports assets to a broader audience from Scott Dupree with the Greater Raleigh CVB Sports Marking Department. Heritage tourism, attracting retirees and more are also programs on the day's agenda.

Entertainment options are available at the summit with a "Stay and Play" package, with a wine tasting, lunch offered at River Landing, tours of Buckner Hill Plantation and Duplin Winery and golf at the River Landing golf courses offered for participants. Some events require additional fees.

The "mini-summit" is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration fees are $10 before Jan. 25 and $20 after Jan. 25. On-site registration will be available. Guests are asked to make checks payable to North Carolina's Eastern Region. Cash and checks only will be accepted the day of the summit.

Registration forms are available online at www.uncorkduplin.com. To pre-register, forms and fees should be submitted to North Carolina's Eastern Region at 3802 Highway 58 North, Kinston, N.C. 28504. Accommodations at the Holiday Inn in Wallace are available for the meeting.

North Carolina's Eastern Region serves as the economic development agency for 13 counties in the state.

"They recognize that tourism is an essential ingredient for economic growth in Eastern North Carolina," Mrs. Ayres said.