Tourism authority could help Edgecombe

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A Tourism Development Authority to promote travel and tourism in Edgecombe County has the potential to provide a significant boost for this region.

Tarboro Town Council members and the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners discussed the potential establishment of such an organization and an occupancy tax to help pay for it during a joint meeting earlier this month.

N.C. Rep. Joe Tolson, D-Edgecombe, has sponsored a local bill that would authorize Edgecombe County to levy an occupancy tax of up to 6 percent to help promote travel and tourism or for tourism-related expenditures.

The occupancy tax is a good way to bring money into this area without creating a significant burden for residents. Many of the people who stay in hotels, motels, inns and other lodging likely will be visiting from outside the county.

North Carolina is a popular vacation destination because of its rich culture and history, and also because of it’s diverse geography. Many people flock to Wilmington and the Outer Banks or to the mountains in Western North Carolina. 
But many people don’t realize what the Twin Counties area has to offer. We need to do everything we can to promote the region.

If the effort really takes off, it could potentially create some new jobs.

Tarboro, Princeville and other parts of Edgecombe County are rich in history. With close proximity to U.S. 64 and Interstate 95, more promotion could help Edgecombe County to become more of a destination for travelers.

We think establishing an occupancy tax and creating a Tourism Development Authority is a step in the right direction.