BY BARBARA J. MAYS
Reed Travel Features
NEW YORK -- North Carolina officials are hoping that a new
advertising campaign will provide a boost for the state's tourism
Research indicated that the state did not have a strong image
among travelers, even though visitors recognize North Carolina for
its scenic beauty.
According to Harry Hoover, vice president of public relations
for the state's advertising agency, "Our new research shows that
our visitors expect a restful, relaxing vacation amid beautiful
"They know North Carolina means beautiful scenery, and we have
it in spades."
The campaign's initial focuses are the state's heritage and
In print ads, the heritage campaign features a black and white
photo of four African-American men at a lunch counter (the four
Greensboro college students who insisted on being served in 1960)
and carries the headline, "Here, four brave people refused to move.
What they did moved and entire nation."
Other "heritage" areas noted in another placement include the
Mattye Reed African Heritage Museum; the Hayti Heritage Center in
Durham that is centered in and around a 105-year-old church, and
Parrish Street, which was nicknamed the Black Wall Street in the
1920s because of the many successful entrepreneurs of color there
(it also is where the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., the
largest black-owned business in the U.S., got its start).
There is a mention given to a memorial in Manteo placed in honor
of Capt. Richard Etheridge, a native of the state who in the 1800s
commanded America's only all-black Coast Guard station.
Another ad focuses on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
The headline reads: "The first English settlers vanished into the
mists of history here. We've been looking for them ever since."
The text suggests visitors come and take up the search.
The ad also suggests that tourists explore North Carolina's
coastal history by visiting the place where the Wright Brothers
learned to fly, skin dive on a barrier island where there are more
than 2,000 shipwrecks and search for the booty of Blackbeard or
take in Fort Macon, where one of the Civil War's pivotal battles
To focus on the state's natural resources, other ads read:
* "According to geologists, North Carolina was once connected to
Africa." The text claims the connection is at the North Carolina
Zoo in Asheboro.
* "Colossal upheavals, landslides and brutal glaciers make for
darned fine hiking trails." The connection: There are more than 900
miles of hiking trails in the state, such as Lost Cove, Devil's
Courthouse or Booger Man.
* "Out here, we haven't burned our bridges with the 20th
century. We just never built them." The connection: The string of
barrier islands that grace the coast.
* "Remember how, when you were a child, you had your own secret
hiding place?" The connection: quiet, remote areas to be discovered
in the mountains and virgin forests. For details, call (919)