April 7, 2020

COVID-19 - Industry Update 11:
Greetings to Travel Partners,

As our industry adjusts to precautionary restrictions and strives to be as nimble as possible during these trying times, the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to monitoring updates from federal, state and county authorities. We are also studying the latest COVID-19 research on traveler sentiment and trends that will help guide us as crisis gives way to recovery. In the meantime, here are the latest updates, resources and research.
Current Update

On April 6, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a community partnership with the City of Wilmington and United Way to support a hotel sheltering plan for the homeless population during COVID-19.   https://news.nhcgov.com/news-releases/2020/04/new-hanover-county-covid-19-update-overall-case-count-at-51-with-20-people-recovered-face-masks-and-fabric-businesses-homeless-sheltering-plan-and-updates-to-local-operations/

On April 7 the Kure Beach dog park will close until further notice.

On April 3, Masonboro Island was closed by the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, and New Hanover County closed public and private boat ramps and marinas. Restrictions are specific to motorized boats and does not apply to kayaks, paddle boards or other non-motorized boats: https://news.nhcgov.com/news-releases/2020/04/new-hanover-county-covid-19-update-case-count-now-44-19-recovered-cdc-recommends-covering-face-in-public-clarification-on-boat-ramp-and-marina-closures-county-attractions-online-resources/

On April 3, the CDC released an updated recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as a voluntary measure in public settings (e.g., counter service areas, grocery stores, and pharmacies): www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

New Travel Research :

Longwoods International COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Study–Wave 4 (April 6, 2020): https://longwoods-intl.com/news-press-release/covid-19-travel-sentiment-study-wave-4

Destination Analysts Update on Coronavirus’ Impact on American Travel (week of April 6,2020) - American travelers start looking to fall as near-term concerns grow: www.destinationanalysts.com/update-on-coronavirus-impact-on-american-travel-week-of-april-6th/

Smith Travel Research – Hotel Performance Weekly Analysis , 5 Key Points for U.S. & Canada: https://str.com/data-insights-blog/covid-19-webinar-summary-5-key-points-us-canada-2-april

Below are updates from state and county officials, followed by CVB updates and helpful links.
State of North Carolina Updates:

New Hanover County Updates:

Wilmington and Beaches CVB Update:

On April 7, Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, and Fredia Brady, General Manager of the Wilmington Convention Center, were featured guests on a segment of BIZTALK, hosted online by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal . You can watch the “Hospitality Impacts from Slowdown” segment online at

Marketing Update

  • Distributed Visitor Profile Study

  • Finalizing 30-60 day strategic plans for social, earned and paid media, and convention marketing, including these primary tactics (based on latest research findings):
  • Social – Stakeholder stories, virtual road trips and videos
  • Earned Media – 48 hour itineraries for summer & beyond
  • Content Marketing – Development of blogs, summer seasonal website pages and eblasts
  • Paid Media – Strategies for summer and fall media campaigns (depending on when travel resumes and budgets)
  • Conventions – Meeting planners’ eblast promoting virtual tours

Ways You Can Assist the CVB :
  • Inform CVB of closings, re-openings, occupancy levels and meeting/event cancelations
  • Respond to CVB surveys (answers are confidential; we report total percentages, trends)
  • Continue to share upcoming virtual events, activities and tours for content consideration. Send details to halmeter@wilmingtonandbeaches.com.

Wilmington and Beaches COVID-19 Resource Pages:


Below, please find some additional COVID-19 resources. To see previously listed resources, please refer to past Industry Updates or you can access a complete list via the Partner Extranet.


Re-3 Grant Program: The Longleaf Foundation and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. are launching a new Re-3 grant program to help small businesses and local entrepreneurs in Downtown Wilmington. Re-3 (stands for re-stock, re-open, and re-cover ) will make grants of up to $3,000 to help Downtown businesses and entrepreneurs add inventory, stay open, and recover from the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19. Funded completely by private donations, the Re-3 program is open to any business in Downtown, Castle Street, Soda Pop District, Cargo District, and South Front (SoFo) District. For program details and online application, visit www.wilmingtondowntown.com/business/r3 .  WDI will accept applications until 4pm on Friday, April 17, 2020. This program is intended to be nimble and fast; awards are subject to available funding. Businesses or individuals interested in supporting the Re-3 program should visit www.wilmgintondowntown.com or phone 910.763.7349 for more information. 

NC Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) childcare  subsidy (for April and May) for children (0-12) of essential workers.  Link to COVID-19 Parent Application for

Small Business & Technology Development Center Overview of SBA Loans: www.sbtdc.org/coronavirus/documents/SBA%20Emergency%20Loan%20Overview%20&%20Comparison%20(4220).pdf

U.S. Department of Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses : https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses

U.S. Department of Treasury - Small Business Paycheck Protection Program Overview: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf

T he Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) updated job openings across the state: https://edpnc.com/north-carolina-immediate-employment-opportunities/


Visit N.C. recently hosted an excellent webinar entitled “Crisis Research and Communications for Tourism During COVID-19,” followed by a Q&A. It is now available online, free-of-charge, at http://partners.visitnc.com/COVID-19 and https://www.visitnc365.com/ .

The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association continues to follow all relief measures taken and relief packages being offered to small businesses including restaurants and hotels.

  • N.C. Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 124 issued on March 31 includes items related to financial relief for small businesses, including suggested actions by mortgage loan servicers, to include commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loan services. NCRLA encourages hospitality business owners are to share this executive order with their lenders and mortgage servicers. https://governor.nc.gov/documents/executive-order-no-124

N.C. Travel Industry Association Newsletter (April 3, 2020): https://nctia.travel/news.php#Newsletter


FDA Model Food Code specifications for maintaining face coverings : https://www.fda.gov/food/retail-food-protection/fda-food-code

CDC guidance on use of face coverings, how to wash and make homemade face covers : www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health (updated frequently): wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel


Thank you for keeping the CVB informed. Your feedback is very important and helps us to respond to industry needs and concerns as the situation evolves.
Be well, keep safe and stay tuned,

Connie Nelson
PR/Communications Director
Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau
505 Nutt Street, Unit A
Wilmington, NC 28401
(P)(910) 341.4030 x120

For the latest COVID-19 Updates and Archived information from the Pleasure Iskland Chamber of Commerce, please CLICK HERE

1121 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428