Officials: Wilson tourism doing well

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Occupancy at Wilson hotels along Interstate 95 has picked up, according to a Tuesday report presented during the Wilson County Tourism Development Authority Board of Directors meeting.

Chairman Dennis Johnson, general manager of Comfort Suites, said the hotels had a 4.4% increase in occupancy in July compared to the same month last year with an average occupancy rate of 81%. The room rental rate increased 2% between the two years for an average rate of $85 with an average profit per room sold of $68.83.

Johnson went on to say the tourism marketing campaign is excelling, especially on Facebook with 407,000 impressions in July. The ‘“things to do” tab on https://wilson-nc.com/ also was the highest performer in July with 6,931 clicks.

“Starting last October when the campaign launched to the end of the fiscal year in June, we had 11 million impressions with 35,000 clicks to the website,” Johnson said. “Overall it was a very, very good campaign throughout those nine months.”

Sandra Homes, executive director of the Wilson Visitors Center, asked the board for guidance regarding purchasing a tent for tourism to use at events, including sports tournaments. Board member Perry Morrison made a motion that was approved to authorize up to $1,200 to buy the tent.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a request from the new leaders of the Miss Wilson Scholarship Organization for $2,000 to help fund the Oct. 26 pageant that is expected to draw 500 attendees. The board approved the allocation earlier this year, but a change in leadership put a stop on the check. Once logistics were arranged with the state, the tourism board agreed to release the grant.