Print advertising garnered 17,116,830 impressions for Visit North Carolina, with placements in several high-profile regional publications. Top-performing 2017 publications included Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Coastal Living and Southern Living. The campaign also delivered several local market ads within publications such as Atlanta Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Nashville Lifestyles and Philly Magazine.

Broadcast / Streaming TV

Television campaigns generating awareness for Visit North Carolina were featured in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Nashville, delivering more than 20 million impressions. Linear TV consisted of 1,277 spots airing on local cable networks such as HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime and ESPN. Streaming television, Hulu and NCC TV Everywhere, delivered 2,610,166 spots.

Paid Search

North Carolina’s paid search efforts continued to be effective and efficient throughout 2017. While overall site traffic remains important, Visit NC ultimately wants to deepen user engagement with and drive specific on-site activities that help quantify travel intent. Examples of those travel-intent activities include ordering a Travel Guide, signing up for a e-newsletter, and most importantly, driving downstream (referral) traffic to local partner sites for further travel planning. The campaigns were continuously optimized to improve travel-intent metrics by lowering the cost-per-activity (CPA) to achieve high-level and cost-efficient performance. In 2017, the paid search campaign generated 620,234 clicks to, 554,733 active sessions and a $2.47 cost per activity.


Digital advertising continues to play a key role in all parts of the travel planning and decision-making funnel, and Visit North Carolina’s digital media plan reflects that across awareness, site traffic and downstream conversion-driving tactics. In addition to constant optimizations across vendors and tactics, 2017 saw several key advancements in digital media:

Cooperative Programs

Visit North Carolina negotiated favorable rates with leading travel, lifestyle and special interest publications to provide partners with cost-effective opportunities to broaden the reach of their own advertising efforts. In total, 40 partners were showcased in magazine insertions in:

North Carolina Ski Areas Association

Visit North Carolina partnered again with the North Carolina Ski Areas Association on a cooperative marketing campaign promoting, running December 2016 - January 2017. The campaign included cable and broadcast television in the following markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbia, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, Knoxville, Raleigh/Durham, Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol and Jacksonville, FL. The campaign delivered more than 6 million impressions for the ski areas in these target markets.

In-State Marketing Initiatives

While out-of-state visitors tend to stay longer and spend more when visiting the state, North Carolinians are also a point of focus within Visit North Carolina’s program. Residents typically comprise approximately one-third of annual visitation, and partnerships with the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, the North Carolina Press Foundation and UNC-TV remain key to Visit North Carolina’s ability to cost-effectively reach more than ten million prospective travelers in the state’s own backyard.

North Carolina Association of Broadcasters

Member television and radio stations aired 67,678 spots representing a value of $5,033,969.

North Carolina Press Foundation

One hundred sixty-six papers published 2,045 ads representing a value of $1,083,000.


UNC-TV’s award-winning team produced 52 weekly episodes of its popular show North Carolina Weekend during 2017. Each episode was broadcast statewide 10 times weekly over three of UNC-TV’s program services: UNC-TV, The Explorer Channel and the North Carolina Channel. North Carolina Weekend aired more than 605 times during the year reaching more than 9 million viewers. The 49 airings on Thursday nights alone averaged a .66 rating, reaching 2.3 million viewers, and the 429 airings on UNC-EX and The NC Channel reached 4.4 million viewers. The series featured more than 220 destinations, attractions and events across the state.