Dare County Tourism Board Special Committee holds first long-range tourism management meeting – OBX Today


The Dare County Tourism Board Special Committee held its first meeting on February 7 at the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau administrative offices in Manteo. The Committee, which consists of 22 community members representing a varied mix of Dare County stakeholder groups including education, healthcare, infrastructure, lodging, National Park Service, non-profit organizations, restaurants and ­residents and non-resident property owners, among others, was established to evaluate the strategic goals of the Long-Range Tourism Management Plan (LRTMP) and make implementation recommendations to the Dare County Tourism Board.

Following member introductions and an overview of the LRTMP planning process, the focus shifted to reviewing and discussing various aspects of Strategic Goal #1: Strengthening Resident and Visitor Engagement. A few topics and highlights from the meeting include:

  • Non-profit organization partnerships – The creation of a non-profit directory on OuterBanks.org, monthly non-profit organization (NPO)/community newsletter communication, the 2nd Annual NPO Mission Mixer (April 2024), a future NPO Knowledge Series workshop (September 2024) and proactive marketing and public relations efforts by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau that highlight voluntourism opportunities with local non-profits.
  • Resident engagement program – A review of how the Outer Banks community was engaged in the creation of the LRTMP, the importance of transparent two-way communication with residents related to the LRTMP and tourism’s value to residents, the creation of a more robust LRTMP website presence and exploring various community engagement possibilities such as the creation of an ambassador program.
  • Outer Banks Pledge – A discussion of the rationale behind why many destinations have created tourism pledges in recent years, examples of other tourism pledges from around the world and the review of a preliminary draft of an Outer Banks Pledge.

The next Special Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 9:00am at the Curtis H. Creech, Jr. Memorial Boardroom at the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau administrative offices in Manteo. The meeting is open to the public, although seating will be limited. For additional information on the LRTMP visit outerbanks.org/lrtmp or contact Jeff Schwartzenberg, Community Engagement Manager, at schwartzenberg@outerbanks.org.

About the Outer Banks Long-Range Tourism Management Plan:

The Outer Banks LRTMP was published in May 2023, following an 18-month process begun by the Dare County Tourism Board and executed by the staff of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and partners at MMGY NextFactor and Tourism Economics. The comprehensive plan, which included creating a special task force and curating the input of hundreds of tourism community stakeholders and thousands of Dare County residents, provides a roadmap for the future to ensure that tourism preserves and benefits the environment, culture and quality of life for residents while enhancing visitor experience.

About The Outer Banks:

The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau is a public authority and the lead marketing and promotional agency for Dare County’s Outer Banks, a 100 mile stretch of barrier islands off the North Carolina coast.

LRTMP Special Committee Meeting | February 2024 from Outer Banks Visitors Bureau on Vimeo.